Heather Lake Trail

Central Cascades

North Cascades, Washington

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Heather Lake Trail


  • Pay station and vault toilets at the parking lot and trailhead of Heather Lake Trail.- Heather Lake Trail
  • The start of Heather Lake Trail is well maintained and direct.- Heather Lake Trail
  •  Creeks found on Heather Lake Trail.- Heather Lake Trail
  • Log crossing Lake Creek.- Heather Lake Trail
  • The Henry M Jackson Wilderness begins 2 miles into the hike.- Heather Lake Trail
  • Many roots on trail. Watch your footing. - Heather Lake Trail
  • Heather Lake Trail.- Heather Lake Trail
  • The final quarter mile of the trail climbs to reach Heather Lake.- Heather Lake Trail
  • Windfall in the forest surrounding the Heather Lake Trail.- Heather Lake Trail
  • The trail can be tricky when wet due to tree roots exposed on path.- Heather Lake Trail
  • Lush green forest and boulders on the Heather Lake Trail.- Heather Lake Trail
  • Heather Lake.- Heather Lake Trail
  • Enjoy Heather Lake while resting on flat rocks by the shore.- Heather Lake Trail
  • - Heather Lake Trail
Overview + Weather
Old-growth forest. Valley lake. Camping. Fishing.
Popular trail. Rough gravel road to trailhead.
North Cascades, WA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,250.00 ft (381.00 m)
Parking Pass: 
Washington Discovery Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
7.20 mi (11.59 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,950.00 ft (1,203.96 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


Heather Lake is a pure gem found in the deep forest of the Cascades at an elevation of 3,950 feet. This large lake is surrounded by trees and brush with flat rocks at its shoreline, and the water is filled with rainbow and westslope cutthroat trout. It is a popular hike for day use and overnight trips. Keep in mind that campfires are prohibited at Heather Lake and at nearby Glasses Lake.

For those wishing to enjoy a moderate day hike to a beautiful lake, Heather Lake near Leavenworth is a perfect fit. Begin at the trailhead near an old clear-cut, and enjoy the stroll in the forest for the first mile, as it only gains a foot of elevation. This leisurely start allows you to appreciate the majestic surroundings of the Cascades. You will cross over a few creeks along your journey and weave beneath magnificent hemlocks. At 1.5 miles you will cross over a large log bridge, constructed in 2003, that makes for a great mile marker before entering Henry M. Jackson Wilderness.

You will notice elevation gain after passing into Henry M. Jackson Wilderness. While climbing through the forest, you will notice huckleberries on trail and views of Labyrinth Mountain. Continue onward for your final destination, where you will have the opportunity to perch yourself on the ledges that sit at the shoreline of Heather Lake.

If the 3.6-mile hike to Heather Lake doesn't satisfy your outdoor adventure needs for the day, continue to the left side of the lake to reach Glasses Lake. After crossing the log jam, the trail becomes a tad tricky to follow, but it is well worth the extra 2 miles.

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(22 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(67 within a 30 mile radius)

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