Seattle, WA: Lake Twenty-Two

Massive stands of old growth forest, an abundance of cascading waterfalls, and an azure alpine lake resting below the sheer cliffs of Mt. Pilchuck await on this 6.2-mile lollipop loop.

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In 1947, eight hundred acres of forest surrounding the lake and its outlet were declared a Research Natural Area (RNA), in efforts of preserving the natural state of the land and keeping it safe from the timber companies. Today, with its easy access, moderate grade and well-constructed boardwalks and steps, this picturesque hike is a local favorite among many Seattlites.

From the well-marked trailhead on Granite Falls Road, parallel the road westward for short spell to a bridged crossing of Twenty-Two Creek. Large old growth cedar loom above as you climb southward up from the valley floor along the cascading Twenty-Two Creek. After about a mile, the trail enters a steep section of switchbacks where the trees part to offer views of the Stillaguamish Valley and mountains beyond. At two miles, the trail crosses a mossy talus slope, shaded by vine and big-leaf maples, then levels considerably, crossing several boardwalks, for the final 0.25 mile to the lakeshore.

At the lakeshore, a near-level one-mile footpath circles the lake. Start off in either direction, searching for your own slice of solitude, or to enjoy a variety of lake views under the steep walls of the surrounding basin and Mt. Pilchuck to the west. Return to the junction near the outlet and complete the hike by returning along Twenty-Two Creek to your starting point.

Mapped by Nathan & Jeremy Barnes Hiking With My Brother


Trail Facts

  • Distance: 10.0



Location: 48.076837, -121.745961

Start out on Lake 22 Trail #702


Location: 48.076649, -121.747123

Hemple Creek crossing. This is the first of many waterways that you’ll encounter.


Location: 48.078207, -121.756248

Cross 22 Creek on a large bridge. Many waterfalls along this creek await you up ahead.


Location: 48.0769, -121.757414

Take a small boot path toward the creek to arrive at a stream bed with a nice waterfall splashing in the distance.


Location: 48.073603, -121.76134

At the switchback, take a path toward the sound of rushing water to view the prettiest waterfall on 22 creek.


Location: 48.066889, -121.762306

The surrounding forest opens up and the dramatic cliffs of above Lake 22. At the junction, go left or right to walk the loop around the lake.


Location: 48.06489, -121.765576

Find seclusion at a small landing that offers a nice place for lunch and great views of the lake.


Location: 48.061893, -121.761828

Take a boardwalk across a marshy area at the north end of the lake.

Lake 22 Trailhead

Location: 48.076817, -121.745875

22 Creek Falls

Location: 48.076803, -121.757355

Picturesqe Falls

Location: 48.073434, -121.761153

Mossy Talus

Location: 48.072473, -121.763771

Stillaguamish Valley

Location: 48.071312, -121.762676

Lake 22

Location: 48.064716, -121.765766

Lake Rock

Location: 48.064816, -121.765509