If you are looking for a good hike around Seattle, WA, then Heather Lake Hiking Trail near Granite Falls is a great option. Washington’s Snoqualmie National Forest is beautifully lush and densely packed with trees, mushrooms, and wild blackberries.
About Heather Lake Hiking Trail
Heather Lake Hiking Trail is a moderate to intermediate hike located north east of Seattle and just over an hour away. The trail is 5.4 miles out and back, with an overall elevation gain of 1210 feet. The average time it will take to complete is about 2.5-3 hours.
Heather Lake sits serenely in the little alcove at the top of the trail. The views of the surrounding mountains and foliage are breathtaking. Come early to watch the sun rising over the peaks and beat the crowd.
Getting to Heather Lake Hiking Trail
A vehicle with 4-wheel drive is a must when driving up to Heather Lake Hiking Trail. The road is full of potholes and can get slippery especially after a rain. We recommend going with someone who is familiar with the road and area. There are several roundabouts that you’ll need to get through before you arrive at the trailhead and it will be easy to get lost. TIP: Print out the directions ahead of time in case you don't have access to cellular reception.
What to Expect Before Going to Heather Lake
A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead. Day passes as well as annual passes can be purchased at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/r6/passes-permits/recreation
Roads in and around Snoqualmie National Forest are subject to seasonal closure. For more information and up to date notices, please visit: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/mbs/alerts-notices
The trail gets pretty rocky with several steep climbs. If climbing or uneven terrain is difficult for you or someone in your party, then you may want to consider another trail. That being said, I was nearing the end of my first trimester of pregnancy and Lawrence had a knee injury and we were both fine during the hike so use your best judgement.
What to Bring to Heather Lake Hiking Trail
Staying hydrated on a hike should be your number one priority. Bring plenty of fluids and make sure to drink it!
There are toilets/outhouses at the trailhead, but you may want to bring your own toilet paper and soap or hand sanitizer. If you don't have your own TP with you, don't worry -- the trail is full of thimbleberry leaves aka Rubus parviflorus. These leaves are super soft against the skin and pretty strong too. Just pick a few leaves and you are good to go!
Optionally you can bring a small snack or meal to enjoy at the lake. We found a few relatively flat boulders that were perfect for sitting while we ate. If you do visit Heather Lake, just be sure to leave it in the same or in better condition as you found it. Bring a small bag for your trash so you can dispose of it after you’ve left the trail.