Location: Lake Wenatchee Area
Land Agency: Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Roundtrip: 8.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,000 feet
Green Trails Map: Wenatchee Lake- No. 145
Contact: Wenatchee River Ranger District (Leavenworth), Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Notes: Northwest Forest Pass required; wilderness rules apply
Access: From Everett head east on US 2 to Coles Corner. Turn left (north) onto SR 207 and proceed 4.0 miles bearing left at a Y-intersection upon crossing the Wenatchee River. Continue 6.2 miles turning right onto the White River Road (FR 6400). Reach trailhead in 6.3 miles at Napeequa Crossing Campground.
Good to Know: Dog-friendly, Glacier Peak Wilderness; kid-friendly
This is a nice kid and dog friendly hike to a pair of placid lakes wedged in a deep valley. Start by a row of giant cottonwoods and immediately climb. At .4 mile come to an easy-to-miss side trail leading a short distance up a rocky knoll affording a nice view down to the Napeequa River and up to 7,420-foot Mount David.
The trail then traverses a couple of scree slopes before dropping to briefly brush up against the wild Napeequa River. Soon afterwards enter the Glacier Peak Wilderness in a lush bottomland of cedars and cottonwoods. Then pass a teeming with birds (and in early summer, mosquitoes) wetland.
As you approach Twin Lakes Creek, pass yet more monstrous ancient cedars. You’ll need to ford the creek; easy in late summer, but often tricky right after snowmelt. Once across the creek, the way climbs steeply gaining 600 feet in a half mile or so meeting back up with the crashing creek in a tight canyon. At about 3.5 miles the trail and creek mellow out and the first of the Twin Lakes, the smaller one is encountered. The shoreline is generally brushy, but there’s a nice lakeside ledge with good viewing up to Dirtyface Peak.
Continue for a level half mile through nice forest to the bigger lake. Here, check out a 1949 cabin used by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to house personnel working at the rearing station on the big Twin. Walk down a small boardwalk to the lake and watch the cutthroat jump. Fishing is prohibited, unless you’re a resident osprey or eagle.
For more information on this trail and others nearby, check out my Day Hiking Central Cascades Book (Mountaineers Books).
For information on other things to do in the Lake Wenatchee-Leavenworth area, consult the excellent family-friendly website: Northwest TripFinder