Nestled between Merchant Peak and the breathtaking face of Baring Mountain, this trail offers weekend hikers a chance to view the scenic alpine lake without facing strenuous elevation gain. Whether you are embarking on a day hike or an overnight backpacking trip, the trail is perfect for a hot summer day, rewarding the most ambitious adventures with a cool dip in the lake.

 

©Melissa Farage

From the trailhead—located at the road’s end—set off into the woods. Within steps you will find yourself confined by a claustrophobic thicket of young trees. Continue through the trail’s twists and turns as it dips down into damp, mossy gullies and crosses several trickling streams. The trail narrows, built up into a wooden frame as it stair-steps downward towards Barclay Creek. A wooden bridge offers hikers safe transport across the glacier-green creek.

©Melissa Farage

 

After the crossing, the trail quickly climbs upward into an old growth forest as it rises high above the creek. The trail tumbles through the tree stump and over an old rockfall before gradually descending again into the peaceful valley where Barclay Lake resides. There are plenty of campsites dotting the lake’s shore. Make sure to stop at one of the sites and venture into the lake to view the spectacular 3,100 foot face of Mt. Baring.

 

Season: Summer

Length: 2.2 miles (each way)

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Variety: Out and Back

Elevation Gain: 225 ft.

Highest Point: 2425 ft.

Maps: Green Trails #143 Monte Cristo

Open To: Dogs, Hikers

Passes/Permits: Northwest Forest Pass

Facilities at Trailhead: Privy

 

Driving Directions: Head East on US 2 towards Baring. Turn left after milepost 42 (across from a convenience store) onto 635 Place NE. After crossing the railroad tracks turn left at the junction .3 miles later. Take a left onto Forest Road 6034 and drive 4.2 miles to reach the trailhead, at the end of the road.

 

©Melissa Farage
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