Mileage: 5.4 miles RT
Elevation Gain/Highest: 1350/2400ft
Map: Green Trails Granite Falls No 109 and Silverton No 110
12/20/2016 I haven’t been to Lake 22 for a few years, so it was good to get out and visit this classic. The avalanche risk was high today, and Lake 22 does have a few spots to watch out for. The trailhead was snow covered and I would recommend AWD. We opted to not take our snowshoes because we knew the trail would be compact and we would not be going around the lake due to the avalanche risk.
The trail had was snow covered off and on in the beginning and when we reached the first real stream over the trail we opted to put spikes on and kept them on the rest of the hike. The temperature had risen 20 degrees since this weekend and although the snow is tampered down, it was started to melt and there was plenty of postholing into the water crossing the trail. There were folks out without traction but they were moving pretty snow due to the slippery conditions.
Carefully, we reached the potential slide chutes as you approach the lake and spaced ourselves out but the snow felt stable so we were not concerned. I could imagine, however, how a slide could occur here.
Our arrival at the lake was about 11:30am and had a snack observing the slides on the other side of the lake that had already occurred. The clouds moved in and out, trying to decide between dark and ominous and bright blue and puffy. We could see track marks on the lake, hard to believe someone was walking on the lake before it has frozen over.
We did walk around the lake to the left just a bit and had fun digging a pit and observing the snow stability (or lack there of).
We felt good with our decision to not continue around and headed back down the trail. It had begun to snow/rain at this point but it didn’t last too long. We had more precipitation falling off the trees! The clouds rolling over the surrounding hills was eerie on our way down, and we took time to watch the rushing water at the falls. There were also a few switchbacks cut with glissades (albeit short ones) that added to our fun today.
Directions: Take Hwy 92 to Granite Falls and at the first of three roundabouts, follow the signs for Quarry Rd. Continue on Quarry until it comes to a T with N. Alder St. Turn left towards the Mountain Loop HWY. 13.1 miles ahead, turn right into the short entrance to the Lake Twenty Two TH (hard to miss). The parking area is located around a gravel loop and holds nearly 50 cars. This is a VERY popular hike, expect to see cars spilling out onto the highway if you have slept in. There is a privy available.