Distance: 4.6 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1034 feet
Pass: Northwest Forest Pass
As the fall sets in, I try to pick good wet-weather hikes. Since I wasn’t looking for views on this trip, we chose Heather Lake which had been on my list of hike options since the spring. Heather is a nice easy to moderate hike that leads to a picturesque lake. I had seen photos of it on sunny days as well as more “moody” cloudy days, so I didn’t mind risking the weather a little.
I would generally consider the trail terrain to be less than ideal since it was a lot of roots and rocks to step over. At times, there was a peak of the surrounding forest out of the thick tree cover. I liked that the fall colors started to peak out along the trail.
At one point, we came to an opening where the sunlight was hitting the fog and lit up the area creating a really interesting scene. It was difficult to capture via camera, but it was a nice treat for the two of us to enjoy.
Once we came to the lake, we enjoyed watching the clouds lift and I took a short time lapse as they evaporated away.
From I-5 in Everett, take Exit 194/Snohomish Wenatchee, then take Exit 204/Lake Stevens. Follow the road 2 miles, then turn left on to Highway 9/9 N Granite Falls. Follow Highway 9 for 1.5 miles, turn right on to E 92/Granite Falls. In 6 miles, come to a roundabout that has a log sign for Granite Falls. To bypass Granite Falls, take the roundabout to Quarry Road. Stay on Quarry Road through two more roundabouts. Come to a stop sign and turn left onto the Mountain Loop Highway. You can also stay on 92 and drive through Granite Falls, then turn left on the Mountain Loop. In 10 miles pass the Verlot Ranger Station on the left. If you need a Northwest Forest Pass, stop here to snag one! A mile after the ranger station, cross a blue and gray bridge and immediately turn right onto the Pilchuck Access Road, FR 42. In 1.4 miles of good gravel road reach the Heather Lake trailhead signed on the left. There is a large parking area available on the right, and room for overflow parking on the left and down the road. A Northwest Forest Pass is required. There is a vault toilets and a garbage can.