This past weekend, Berty and I drove into the North Cascades to hike at a new place – Heather Lake. The thought of hiking originally came from simply wanting to get outside and go on a new adventure. As time passed, we realized our plans had near-perfect timing – it was a few days off of celebrating 6 months of marriage! Since being married, we’ve gone on excursions to the Washington coast and Olympic Mountains with friends, but this particular time was just the two of us.
Heather Lake is very similar to Lake Twenty-Two. For starters, they are both located on the Mountain Loop Highway. However, we found Heather Lake much easier, quicker, and the perfect amount of time for a morning hike. As we were driving to the trailhead, we also discovered that it was on the same road to the Mt. Pilchuck trail! (Someday we will hike that!!)
Want to go on a quick morning hike to Heather Lake? Here’s what you need to know:
*Stats from Washington Trail Association (Great hiking resource for Washington State!)
Heather Lake is located in the North Cascades, off the Mountain Loop Highway, about a 1.5 hour drive from Seattle. It’s a 4.6 mile roundtrip hike and you will gain about 1,000ft in elevation. The hike is easy, with sections of rocky path. We spotted and crossed a few waterfalls along the way too. The hike can be slippery at some points and there was snow at the top (early December) so watch where you step!
Pack breakfast in your backpack + coffee in a thermos:
A few weeks ago, my dad presented Berty with a thermos for his birthday. Since then, we’ve put it to good use! Before we left our apartment, we boiled some water for the thermos and packed it away in Berty’s Langley bag. We stashed away a few of our Indonesian instant-coffee packets so we could make it fresh at the top! Our hands were freezing when we reached the lake, and it was so nice to hold a warm mug of coffee as we enjoyed the lake view. Suggestion time! Any backpackers reading?? I would love some ideas for easy hiking breakfasts/recipes! What do you pack? Leave a comment below!
Dress for the weather:
Knowing the Pacific Northwest, we planned to get rained on. While we still packed and wore our raincoats (ours are from Columbia and The North Face) luckily the mountain greeted us with a whole lot of fog instead! During the actual hiking part, you don’t need too many layers but if you plan to hang out at the top, gloves and hats are totally necessary. Berty’s hat is from a really cool local company called Wish You Were Northwest and mine is from one of our favorites, Krochet Kids. If you are going in December like us, I would also recommend good snow boots like these and these, because it’s slippery and cold at the top!
Go with people you love!
For us, it’s more fun to share experiences like this with other people. We think it’s a great time to connect, catch up on life, and make new memories together. So grab a friend, pick a day and GO! And most importantly, tell me about it. Have fun!
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