Dog Friendly Hike: Lake TwentyTwo

Gretel at Lake Twentytwo with Mount Pilchuck in the backgroundI got the “ok to hike” from the doctor. I was itching to hit the trail after being sidelined on the couch with pneumonia for almost three weeks. I decided to check Lake Twentytwo off of my bucket list so my hubby and I packed up the dogs and headed out.

The Lake Twentytwo trailhead is only about a mile away from the Heather Lake trail, which was Gretel’s very first hike. That was the hike that inspired me to start this blog…and the rest is history. There was kind of a return to the beginning feel for us.

Our Adventure

Some trails around here can get pretty crowded on the weekends, especially when the trail is relatively easy, the scenery is amazing, and the sun is out. This was no exception.

Several hundred feet of cars lined the highway near the parking lot. It was afternoon though so we took a chance and were able to find a parking spot in the main lot.

We must have passed almost 100 people on the way up. Having to stop for people coming down, stopping for people wanting to pass us, and stopping to wait until there weren’t strangers in our photos of nature made the hike up kind of slow going. I didn’t mind though because I wanted to take it easy on my mucked up lungs. I was feeling a little out of shape to say the least.

There was quite the crowd when we arrived at the lake

Lake Twentytwo crawling with people

We must have passed almost 40 dogs too. The unique thing about the dogs on this hike is that the majority of them were medium-sized or smaller. I have never seen so many small dogs hiking a trail before. It was great!

On the way up, a few people coming down mentioned that they saw two more Dachshunds ahead. When we got to the lake was saw them and stopped to chat. The woman recognized Gretel. It turns out that they are members of our Adventureweiner Club. I don’t think we’ve ever randomly ran into someone from our club on the trail so it was fun.

We hung out and ate our lunch. We were getting a tired and feeling a little lazy so we almost headed back down without walking the trail around the lake. Yay for not being lazy! It was amazing. Even though the trail on the way up was pretty, the loop around the lake was the highlight of the trip. There were less people on the loop so we we were able to escape the crowds a little by doing that too.

Lake Twentytwo - Waterfall on Mount Pilchuck

Lake Twentytwo ViewChester and Gretel enjoyed the whole hike.

Lake Twentytwo - Chester and Gretel with Mount Pilchuck


Chester WebI will say that this hike made me a little angry though. There was more trash on this trail than I have ever seen on any trail around here. We picked up two plastic water bottles, 4 clearly abandoned dog poop bags, and a candy wrapper. We saw at least 10 more pieces of trash but they were tossed too far off of the trail to safely retrieve. I also saw a lot of people cutting switchbacks and causing slope erosion. It took a lot of mental fortitude to keep my blood from boiling. Note to self for next time: go on a weekday when there are less people and less potential to see people disrespecting the environment and bring a trash bag.

The Details

Lake Twentytwo Trail SnapshotsThis trail is very popular… which equals very crowded. Hiking there on a weekday is probably the best choice if you hope to find any solitude.

The hike to the lake combines the best of mountain rainforests, old-growth, wetlands, and mountain views. Every minute of the trail up to the lake is pretty and offers interesting things to look at. The final destination is a pretty little lake nestled at the base of a looming mountain – Mount Pilchuck.

A lot of trails here, especially the shorter ones, wind through second growth trees – areas that were logged once so the trees are smaller in diameter and on the young side. This trail has some large, old growth trees though. I saw a few notches in stumps that indicated it was logged by hand many, many years ago but they must have left some of the big ones to grow old.

There is always water on the trail here, and there are several significant stream crossings, so plan on wearing the proper footwear and synthetic or wool socks (because they wick moisture away from your feet and wet cotton socks can feel like sandpaper and cause blisters). Also, The trail was a little rockier than I anticipated so I was wishing I had worn my hiking boots instead of trail runners. My ankle started to get a little sore from the uneven surface.

There is a privy (bathroom) in the parking area and a bear-proof trash can.

Trail Stats:

Trail Name: Lake Twentytwo – Lake 22
Distance: 5.4 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,350 feet
Highest Point:  2,400 feet
Permits and Passes: A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead
Directions: Take Hwy 92 to Granite Falls, where it ends and becomes E Stanley Street. Go east 0.3 miles, then turn left (north) onto N Alder Avenue, which turns into the Mountain Loop Highway. 10.6 miles later, enter the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. 2.1 miles past the entrance to the Forest, pass over Twentytwo Creek, and 0.4 miles farther, turn right at the entry for the Lake Twentytwo trailhead. The parking area is located around a gravel loop and holds nearly 50 cars.

About the Author

Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.


    1. Thanks. Me too! Since the hike my I have been coughing a little more but I think it’s just because it stressed them out a little and started things moving around again.

  1. What gorgeous photos! I’ve always wanted to visit Washington, but somehow have yet to make it there… but after exploring your blog, it’s now on my bucket list for sure!! I’m an avid hiker too, but live in Arizona, and the scenery is vastly different here…I would be in heaven with all those trees and waterfalls. 🙂 Glad you’re recovering and can get back to hiking again!

    1. I love the southwest! It’s not quite as appealing after becoming a dog owner that never hikes without her dogs though because of the heat. Doxies are so low to the ground that they suck it up so it’s even worse for them. I like our temperate weather that lets us get out all year round.

      The scenery here IS pretty amazing. You should definitely make it out sometime.

      1. Can you explain what you mean in your comment about it being worse for Doxies and them having to suck it up? I don’t understand and would like to know why it is worse. I have a dachshund and have recently moved to a very hot climate. Thanks.

        1. Sure Susan.

          I didn’t mean that they “have to suck it up”. What I meant was this: When the ground is hot, heat will radiate off of the ground to at least a foot above the ground. You can feel it if you put your hand down close to the ground. Since most Dachshunds are only a foot or so tall, that are right in this “heat radiation” zone. That means that their little bodies have to “suck up” the heat surrounding them and they can overheat easily. It’s “worse for Doxies” because their whole body is in this higher-heat zone, whereas taller dogs only have their legs in that zone.

          It can happen anywhere it is hot. I have to be watchful during the summer if it gets to the high 70s here or when we go to Eastern Washington, which often experiences temperatures in the 90s in the summer. From my experience in the Southwest, and from what my friends from there tell me, they experience high temperatures quite often…even into the 100s. Many of my dog friends down there walk their dogs at 5 am in the summer when it is only 70 or something to avoid them overheating.

          I hope this makes sense. Let me know if you still have questions.

      2. Thanks, I definitely plan to! And please let me know if you’re ever planning to come to Phoenix, I would be happy to recommend some great dog hikes…although I suggest the November through March time frame! 🙂

  2. It’s sad how much trash you saw (and picked up – yay you!) along the trail. People take nature for granted and it’s so devastating. It looks absolutely picturesque. I’m jealous because we don’t have any lakes around the greater Phoenix valley. It’s about an hour drive to the nearest lake! Any time I get the chance to get my dogs to a body of water, I do so!

    1. I bet you would love to have some water for them to play in since its’ so hot around there in the summer. Chester and Gretel aren’t fans of water but they fell in twice yesterday while we were paddleboarding and survived 🙂 Being a geologist, I love the “naked rocks” of the southwest. I think I only want to visit though. Ha, ha.

  3. That’s so awesome to get recognized from the Adventureweiner Club like that, I would have been giddy about that all day. That looks like an awesome trail for sure but as you suggest if I were to go with Laika we’d have to make it a weekday thing; I don’t know how she’d handle that many other dogs at one time.

    1. It can get tricky with so many dogs in a tight space. Make no mistake though, it is still highly trafficked on the weekdays too…just not as bad. That was nuts!

      I do appreciate getting recognized from the Adventureweiner Club. Honestly though, most doxie people around here know about our club and/or our blog. Even some non doxie people know it. They just like saying the name 🙂

  4. What a gorgeous trail! No wonder it is popular. I’m glad that you are feeling better now too. Pneumonia really sucks. It sounds like your hike was a great one. Thanks for picking up that litter. Litter bugs ruin a lot of beautiful places.

    1. Thanks Robin.

      Luckily I don’t see a lot of trash on trails normally. It’s not unusual to see at least one thing a hike though. I admit that I don’t always pick it up. I think I am going to start though. It made me feel really good.

  5. That’s a beautiful area to hike and kudos to you for picking up some trash left behind by thoughtless people. I would definitely go for the weekday hike, since part of what I love about hiking is getting away from people and enjoying the serenity of nature.

    1. Well, even during the week this trail sees a fair amount of people. It is definitely less though. Doing the loop around the lake was key because there was hardly anybody on that part of the trail. Next time I am skipping the crowds as the beginning and heading straight for the far side of the lake to rest and have lunch.

    1. My pictures certainly don’t do it justice either! It was pretty spectacular. Note to self: get better at photo editing. Like I have time for that though 🙂

  6. What beautiful photos! Chester and Gretel look amazing with the beautiful background. I’m sorry you saw so much trash from inconsiderate people. It’s hard sometimes to not let it get to you, but good for you for helping to keep the trail clean! We always pick up after ourselves and others if need be.

  7. Great review and pictures. I’m glad you’re feeling better, I’m sure the pups, too! I get mad at litter-bugs as well, I just don’t understand them. Especially when they are out in the gorgeous wilderness. Our youth group used to have litter-pickup fundraisers which I think is a great way to give kids an awareness that litter doesn’t just “vanish” somehow.

  8. What a beautiful place! I experienced a similar thing with the trash while out at the halfway point on the Kalalau Trail last week. The good news is that some kind person had picked it up and put it in bags … the bad news is that there was a LOT of bags! What a bummer!
    On a completely unrelated note, your blog might have the best name in the history of blogs. I love it! 🙂

    1. Thanks. The name itself gets a lot of attention 🙂

      How nice of someone to pick it up. After hiking this trail I spoke with a man who says he hikes it regularly and also picks up trash. Unfortunately, he said it comes back as fast as he can pick it up.

  9. Hello. I have two huge Labrador retrievers and they love the water! I have been on this hike twice before but not with my pups. Do you know if dogs can swim in the lake to cool off?

    1. Hi Alana. Yes, dogs have access to the lake. I’ve seen dogs playing around in the shallow water near shore but I’ve never seen dogs out swimming around in it. The water is very cold so I would be wary of your dog getting hypothermia if they stayed in it too long.

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