A century-old favorite of Seattle hikers, the trail to Annette Lake is a perfect option in almost any weather condition. Dense trees offer shelter from sun or rain, and the climb from the trailhead that is shared with the Asahel Curtis Nature Trail is a solid workout, but not overwhelmingly strenuous. On hot summer days, the pristine lake water is the perfect ending to 3.75 miles of ascent.
After the first mile of gentle climbing, the trail passes under a powerline, through a small wildflower field, crosses over the Iron Horse Trail, then plunges back into the dark woods. As it begins to climb more seriously, the trail becomes surrounded by towering second-growth fir trees and moss covered branches. Multiple crossings of Humpback Creek, including several tumbling waterfalls, are an added bonus to the beautiful scenery.
Eventually the trail flattens out and begins skirting the rocky slope. You'll have occasional views of Humpback Mountain's jagged rock faces across the valley. Soon after, the trail reaches the shores of Annette Lake and forks in both direction around the water. Either way leads to lakeside campsites, swimming, and places to have a picnic, though the campsites are more spacious and closer to the water if you walk to the left (the east side of the lake).