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Pets allowed
Yes
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
0.70 mi (1.13 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.

For such a short trail, the loop around Lake Elizabeth has a lot to offer. You'll see a multitude of wildflowers, groves of old fir, cedar, and hemlock trees, fish jumping in the lake, and all in just 0.7 miles of hiking. The short distance and variety of plant life make this a perfect outing for families with children wanting a little taste of nature.

The trailhead is not marked, but it is easy to find from the road. Drop down several feet to water level and head either right or left to start your circumnavigation of this 7-acre lake. The trail crosses over numerous babbling feeder creeks, and towering slopes are visible in all directions. In spring and early summer, enjoy a colorful array of wildflowers like fireweed and cow parsnips, and in late summer snack on plump thimbleberries and salmonberries.

Parts of the trail are becoming overgrown, so completing the loop may involve pushing through some brush or climbing over downed trees. The trail tends to be muddy near the lake outlet at Money Creek, so bring the appropriate footwear.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Wildflowers. Great for kids.

Cons

Long, rough road to trailhead.

Trailhead Elevation

2,850.00 ft (868.68 m)

Net Elevation Gain

50.00 ft (15.24 m)

Features

Wildflowers
Fishing

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

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

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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

Comments

Located just a few miles away from Highway 2 near Skykomish, Lake Elizabeth used to be a family-friendly 0.7-mile round trip hike that was easily accessible by car, however, in 2016 the road leading up to Lake Elizabeth washed out. Adventurers looking to reach Lake Elizabeth now drive 3.9 miles down Money Creek Road and park at the washout before embarking on an approximately 9-mile out and back hike with around 1300 feet of elevation gain.

The hike is beautiful and meanders up the remaining sections of Money Creek Road while paralleling Money Creek itself for most of the hike. Amazing views of the creek, surrounding mountains, and even a few waterfalls are afforded while continuing the journey up hill. The wildflowers during the summer bring out hundreds of butterflies as well, which makes the hike seem more like a stroll in a botanical garden than a hike along an old road. Lake Elizabeth will become visible on the right-hand side when the trail starts to flatten out about 4 miles in. There is a small overgrown trail leading down to the lake, and it runs around the perimeter of the lake. The lake is nestled in the trees and is great for wading for dogs or children.

A few important notes on the hike: There are a few sections where the road has washed out which require scrambling over rocks and are likely impassible during the winter and early spring due to high water levels. Also, be sure to bring plenty of water with you as the water in the area is contaminated from old mining activities, so even with a water filter, it is not safe to drink. Lastly, it can be very buggy up at the lake, so bring bug spray with you!
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