The Barclay Lake adventure might be considered in two parts. The most remarkable half of the adventure is reaching the lake and seeing Barclay Mountain rise from the shore and tower menacingly above. The sheer mountain face provides such an amazing view that it wouldn't be hard to spend an entire day just looking toward it's impressive peak, watching small avalanches fall off of its sheer mountain face.
The other half of the adventure, however, is just getting to the trailhead. Depending on the time of year, you may or may not be required to hike up the fairly steep Forest Service road that winds for miles up the mountain to the summer trailhead. If the snow allows for it, you'll make it to the top after navigating some potholes and a steep, twisting drive up. If the road is still blocked by the snow, you may be in luck. Because the trail is only 2 miles on an even grade with spectacular viewpoints, this can be a busy hike in the summer months. A snowy road almost guarantees that you'll have this Washington Wonder all to yourself.
Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.