Once a railroad stop during the region's gold mining boom, Hemple Creek Day Use Area is now a humble but beautiful resting spot off of Washington's famous Mountain Loop Scenic Highway, deep in the valley of the wild Stillaguamish River. Here, 16 picnic sites lie along the south bank of the river under a dense canopy of second- and third-growth western redcedars and western hemlock.
The picnic area not only serves as an overflow day use park for Gold Basin Campground just to the east, but it is also directly across the Mountain Loop Highway from the trailhead for Lake Twenty-two. Also known as "Lake 22," this spectacular alpine lake sits 1,350 feet above the Stillaguamish River and makes for a 5.4-mile total hike. The trail up to Heather Lake and the Mount Pilchuck Lookout Tower are also just to the west off of Mount Pilchuck Road/NF-42.