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 different ways: Lake Twentytwo and Lake 22. With all the confusion about the name, there’s one overriding fact: the lake is beautiful!

Lake Twenty Two Trailhead

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

As for the boring name…I’ll let the Washington Trails Association explain:

“The origin of the lake’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 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 the alpine lake.

NOTE: Be sure wear waterproof shoes or boots because the trail is notoriously wet.

Lake Twenty Two

Simply put, the view of the lake 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 this definitely has the “Wow!” factor on a clear day. After we posted pictures on social media, many of our followers said this is their favorite hike in the area. And we can understand why!

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

This easily made our list of the best hikes we’ve done near Seattle. Find out what else made the cut!

Dan Lewis Tim Lewis Lake Twenty Two