HIKE OF THE MONTH: Peek-a-boo Lake (off of Mountain Loop Highway)
Enjoy a peaceful lake and mountain views
Craig Romano photo
This month's journey leads you to this peaceful leake to glow in your succeess.
SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Sitting in a peaceful little cirque on a ridge high above the Sauk River is pretty little Peek-a-boo Lake. The trail begins on an old logging road in scrappy forest, but quickly transitions to true trail in impressive old growth. Side-sloping, switchbacking, and with occasional direct attacks straight uphill, the rough-at-times trail makes its way up a thickly forested 4,350-foot ridge. All the while, massive hemlocks, firs, and cedars as well as babbling brooks and a lush understory of greenery draw your attention away from the climb.
The trail then gently begins to lose elevation emerging from the emerald canopy into a parkland meadow. Pass by a small pool and continue along more magnificent meadows. Using care not to trounce delicate vegetation, leave the trail for the eastern edge of the meadow for a breathtaking view of White Chuck Mountain and Mount Pugh hovering over the Sauk River valley.
After taking in the peaks, head back toward Peek-a-boo Lake. The trail returns to the forest, dropping about 300 feet on rough tread to the placid lake perched in an emerald bowl of stately hemlocks and shaggy-barked Alaska yellow cedars. There are good campsites nearby if you plan on spending the evening.
Try out this hike
Distance: 5.0 miles
Elevation gain: 1,600 feet
To get there: From Darrington, follow the Mountain Loop Highway south for 8.5 miles, turning right onto Forest Road 2080 (the turnoff is just before the Sauk River bridge). Continue on FR 2080 for 1.1 miles and turn right onto FR 2081. Follow this road for 3.5 miles and bear left onto FR 2086. After 1 mile, reach the trailhead at the road end.
Notes: High vehicle clearance necessary for roadway.
About the author
Craig Romano, is an award-winning author of more than 25 hiking guidebooks, including “Day Hiking North Cascades 2nd Edition” (Mountaineers Books) which includes detailed descriptions on this hike and many others along the U.S. 2 corridor.
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