Best Hikes Near Stevens Pass
Discover the Magic and Majesty of Hiking Washington’s Cascade Mountains
When a walk through the woods becomes a spiritual experience, you’ll know you’ve discovered the magic of hiking Washington’s Cascade Mountains. Fog gently hanging over high alpine lakes and the moss softly blanketing the forest floor are only the beginning of the fairytale that awaits you. No matter your skill or fitness level, the mountains surrounding the Stevens Pass area are brimming with opportunities for adventure by foot. Check out some of our favorites listed below. So what are you waiting for? Lace up your boots and grab your pack, the mountains are calling, and you must go!
Greider Lakes Trail
A stunning and strenous hike leading up to Little Greider and Big Greider Lakes. Where Little Greider has the better camping, Big Greider has the more impressive landscape. The lake fills the bottom of a talus-lined bowl, with Greider Peak looming largest over the water. Depending on the time of year, snow-fed waterfalls pour down exposed cliff faces and into the lake. The lake’s outlet is clogged with driftwood, creating a great platform for viewing the lake or accessing the far side. The trail ends here, though the berry bushes that line the lakeshore are riddled with worn bootpaths. Find a log to eat lunch on or do some exploring to find a more secluded spot to enjoy the lake.
Wallace Lake Trail
Follow the well-defined trail to the falls and when the route splits keep left, follow the trail past a toilet facility and onto the Greg Bail Trail; this is about 2.4 miles from where you started. From here you wind through the gentle hills with towering old growth overhead. In the distance you can catch the vigorous falls crashing on the rocks and keep your eyes peeled for sights of the river through the crevices of timber. You will run into an old road, take a right and follow to Wallace Lake. Trek along the left side of the lake for another half mile to reach a rocky beach where the sun shines directly upon the waterfront and Mount Index lingers above in the skyline. In my opinion this is where the best view is found and therefore the best place to enjoy your surroundings.
Evergreen Lookout Trail
This trail climbs steeply at first through burn scars of a 1967 fire, but once you enter the Wild Sky Wilderness the trail relaxes and it’s a nice journey from here. Enjoy a short stretch of beautiful old growth trees before leaving the forest and entering alpine meadows. From here you’ll see the lookout high atop the ridge and the views get better with every step you take! Evergreen’s 360° views are commanding, with the elusive Glacier Peak front and center as well as Columbia, Kyes, and the distinctive profile of Sloan Peak. Further west you can view Del Campo, Big Four, and Baring. To the south is Mount Rainier and Adams and to the east are Mount Daniel, Fernow, and the always prominent Stuart. This is a great place to play “name that peak”.
May Creek Trail
An easy and meandering trail system which perfectly embodies what you would expect from a walk in the PNW woods. Moss blankets the ground and a thick canopy of trees cover the path. The creek cheerfully gushes alongside most of the trail, leading you up to an overlook with lush views. This trail is perfect for older visitors and children who may not be able to handle a longer, more strenuous hike. Although it is more accessible, it is surprisingly uncrowded and certainly worth exploring. Visit during the fall for misty morning fog hanging in the trees and the sumptuous fall foliage blanketing the ground.
Lake Isabel Trail
In addition to the trail being somewhat unkept, the path to the top is occasionally difficult to follow. This is definitely a hike to bring the GPS on so that you can avoid getting turned around or lost. As you continue to ascend, the road becomes progressively rougher and the crossings more treacherous. Perseverance across May Creek and up a particularly nasty washout will lead you to a marked trail into the forest. Here, the hike becomes enjoyable. More a bootpath than a full-fledged trail, the way is occasionally marked by pink ribbon, and it is clear that one needs to follow the creek in order to get to the lake. You will come across an amazing 200’ waterfall at the end of the hike. Clambering up the rocks above the first tier of the waterfall is well worth the effort, and is the perfect place to settle down for lunch. Isabel Lake is just a few hundred feet above – find and follow the trail on the right side of the falls to reach the shore.