The Lakeview Trail provides a generous serving of wet North Cascades beauty paired with distinct touches to remind hikers they are on the significantly drier side of the range. The trail begins at the Ashnola River. From the picturesque trailhead you'll look across and up to the imposing mountain range. The grind is as challenging as you can imagine, pitching upward immediately from the bridge that crosses the river at the trailhead.
For the first 3.5 kilometers the trail crisscrosses the access road that allows visitors to take a four-wheel drive ride to the private cabins in the park. In this section hikers pass through grasslands and boulders as they rapidly ascend. After crossing the aptly-named Noisy Creek, the trail follows the road as it pitches up before making a right turn and final detour away from the vehicle access road.
The unrelenting climb continues, culminating in a near-scramble out of the patched Douglas fir and cottonwood forest that emerges into a broad, open grassland that offers stunning views across Noisy Creek and over the Ashnola Valley. Views of the park's peaks start to emerge, only to be lost again as you you abruptly enter more typical wet Cascade forests. Grasslands give way to creek-crossings, blown down pines and spruce trees, and persistent boggy stretches.
As you round the 11 kilometer marker the forest again starts to thin, meadows abound, and views of the western summits of Scout and Red Mountains emerge. Watch for evidence of lots of animals including deer, big horn sheep, marmots and bears.
Once you pass the junction of the Diamond Trail it's a smooth, even slightly downhill, stroll into the trail's end at Quiniscoe Lake. The trail switches around an impressive rocky wall before crossing the outflow and tarns that surround the serene Scout Lake. The final descent takes you out of the forest and into the parking lot of the private cabins. Persevere beyond for just another minute and you'll earn your reward, a stunning vista across Quiniscoe Lake.
The southeastern corner of Quiniscoe Lake has an excellent campground ($10 per person per night), which offers a place to relax and recharge before enjoying one of the many other beautiful hikes that branch off from the lake.