Lake Twenty-Two

The surreal is real.

It’s the beginning of fall and I realize I had requested a week off to walk to Portland. I decided to put that goal on hold to immerse myself in an epic solo outdoor adventure. That’s how I ended up on the Mountain Loop Highway on a Monday in autumn. I was delighted to find a mostly desolate scenic byway to myself with blue skies peaking out of the clouds. I knew it was going to be an enjoyable day.

On some parts of the trail these steps were cascading with water

This was an off the cuff adventure but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t do my homework on the area. I enjoy the planning as much and at times even more than the adventure itself. I had a few hikes in mind along this route but I zeroed in on Mt. Pilchuck initially, a very popular and heavily trafficked trail. Fate would have it that today was not my day for this hike. I had read about the road leading to the trailhead as gnarly and only manageable by a 4×4 vehicle. I drive a Scion and I’ve driven it for miles on dirt roads but in my research I read about what happens if you get stuck. There are no tow companies who will travel out there. I did attempt it for about a mile before I ultimately turned around.

Beautiful and Serene Lake 22

After exiting back onto the main road it was in a matter of seconds that I came across the parking lot for Lake Twenty-Two, a trail I had become familiar with that was on my radar. A decent swath of cars lingered in the lot but nothing crazy and the sun was warm and inviting. I parked and grabbed the gear. I get excited every time I roll up to a trail head. I saw a lady with her dog just getting started and by the time I was on the trail she was headed back. She warned me the trail was washed out but I noticed that she wasn’t prepared with the right gear. The trail to Lake Twenty-Two is perpetually wet and the proper gear is essential to have a safe and fun experience.

One of the many water falls along the trail
This is right at the onset of the trail.
Did I mention the trail was wet?
And we have arrived! Turns out the wood planks do not go all the way around the lake. It’s a 1 mile hike around the whole thing.

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