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Lake Twenty Two | Strange Name, Beautiful Hike

Lake Twenty Two | Strange Name, Beautiful Hike

It has a unique — if not dull — name: Lake Twenty Two. And for that matter, there doesn’t seem to be any consistency with its name. You’ll see it written Lake Twenty Two, Lake Twenty-Two, Lake Twentytwo, and even Lake 22. With all the confusion about the name, there’s one overriding fact: Lake Twenty Two is beautiful!

Lake Twenty Two Trailhead

Before we delve into its strange name, let me first explain where Lake Twenty Two is. Located about an hour and a half from Seattle, the Lake Twenty Two trailhead is outside of Granite Falls on the Mountain Loop Highway. Click here for a map.

As for the Lake Twenty Two name…I’ll let the Washington Trails Association explain:

“The origin of Lake Twentytwo’s distinct name is uncertain, but a leading theory is that nineteenth-century railroad maps listed local creeks numerically; one particular creek and its source lake were assigned “22.” The name stuck, and in 1947 the 790-acre Lake Twenty Two Research Natural Area (RNA) was created, putting an end to logging and allowing future generations to appreciate the remaining old-growth cedars and hemlocks.”

Lake Twenty Two Waterfall

The hike to Lake Twenty Two is a 5.7-mile round trip with 1,350 feet of elevation gain. The trail leads you through the aforementioned old-growth forest, by Twenty Two Creek (including a couple of waterfalls — which are a little tough to see through the woods), up a talus slope, eventually ending up at Lake Twenty Two.

NOTE: The trail to Lake Twenty Two is notoriously wet, so I recommend packing your waterproof shoes/boots.

Lake Twenty Two

Simply put, the view of Lake Twenty Two is incredible. It’s a small lake nestled into the base of the “northern shoulder of Mount Pilchuck.” The trail actually continues in a loop around the lake, which helps separate the crowds on a busy day. Just fair warning, the WTA advises staying off the boulders around the trail and keeping to the path (to avoid injury). If you have time, I recommend hiking around the lake. There are plenty of peaceful places to post up for lunch or a snack.

Lake Twenty Two Trail

There are a lot of awesome hikes to plenty of beautiful lakes around Seattle, but Lake Twenty Two definitely has “Wow!” factor on a clear day. After we posted pictures on social media, many of our followers said Lake Twenty Two is their favorite hike in the area. We can understand why!

Have you ever hiked to Lake Twenty Two? How was your experience? We’d love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more great places to visit around the Emerald City!

Dan Lewis Tim Lewis Lake Twenty Two

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4 Comments

  1. Please note, regarding Lake 22, There is a lot of erosion caused by people going off trail at the lake. The area around the boardwalk is very fragile bog land and the wildflowers are just starting to come out. Please respect this fragile ecosystem and stay on the boardwalk. This includes keeping your dog on a leash as they have as much of an impact as people. There are plenty of rocks to sit on if you walk to the end of the boardwalk further down the lake. Thank you for taking the time to read this and being a good trail steward.

  2. Please note, there is a lot of erosion caused by people going off trail at Lake 22. The area around the boardwalk is very fragile bog land and the wildflowers are just starting to come out. Please respect this fragile ecosystem and stay on the boardwalk. This includes keeping your dog on a leash as they have as much of an impact as people. There are plenty of rocks to sit on if you walk to the end of the boardwalk further down the lake. Thank you for taking the time to read this and being a good trail steward.

  3. This is amazingg….I am really happy that I found your blog.I am new to seattle and trying to check out new places.
    Can you please suggest me what to do for my husband’s birthday.I want to make it special.
    Thanks a lot. :)

    • Welcome to Seattle! We’re glad you found our blog! What type of activity are you looking for on your husband’s birthday? An outdoor adventure? Something fun in the city? A nice dinner? Let us know and we’ll point you in the right direction!

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