Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
225.00 ft (68.58 m)
Trail type
4.40 mi (7.08 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

A pleasant and gentle hike, Barclay Lake is an ideal destination for beginning backpackers and families with children. The lake is nestled between Merchant Peak and Baring Mountain on the edge of the 106,577-acre Wild Sky Wilderness, and it offers several lakeside campsites as well as sandy beaches for picnicking.

The rolling trail meanders for 2 miles under giant hemlocks, past bright patches of devil's club, and through clusters of salmonberries that are ripe for eating during the summer. Thanks to heavy precipitation in the area, the trees and forest floor are draped with moss, offering a contrast to the jagged peaks surrounding the valley. No doubt children will be fascinated by the population of insects, fungi, and plants covering either side of the trail.

Shortly after crossing Barclay Creek, the lake comes into view. Pick your picnic or camping spot and enjoy the towering view of Baring Mountain's northern face right across the water. If you would like to add a major challenge to your day, consider hiking the rugged 2-mile trail up to Eagle Lake from the east end of Barclay.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass


Easy trail. Lakeside camping.



Trailhead Elevation

2,220.00 ft (676.66 m)


Backcountry camping

Typically multi-day



Nearby Lodging + Camping

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest


Went on a Sunday-Monday span, arriving at the trailhead around 11:30. The lake was surprisingly deserted with only one other campsite being occupied. A few families with dogs passed through, but most didn't stay long and none overnight. In speaking with a Ranger on Monday morning, the trend seems to be that weekends are typically pretty packed, so if you're looking for quiet then a weekday trip is definitely the way to go.

Rainbow Trout in the lake were jumping almost constantly starting late afternoon on Sunday. We're woefully inexperienced anglers, so didn't manage to catch anything, but another guy across the lake walked out with something like 5 fish, so if you know what you're doing it shouldn't be too hard to land something.

I was concerned about mosquitoes but don't think I got a bite the entire time. Horseflies, however, were out in strength starting Monday morning, and they were incredibly aggressive. They seemed to leave us alone after we applied some heavy-duty insect repellent, but each of us had already gotten bit before that point and they never really stopped buzzing around the campsite. Something to be mindful of when prepping a trip.

Pictures struggle to do it justice, but the lake itself sits right beneath Mount Baring, which makes for a pretty fantastic setting. Daylight goes through an interesting pattern here, as the sun passes behind the mountain fairly early in the day before emerging on the other side shortly before sunset, meaning that the lake is shaded for much of late afternoon.

We did not attempt the trail to Stone and Eagle Lakes, but it's on the list for next time.
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