Hike description: On a bright, sunny day, remember to bring swimwear on this hike. The Lake Dorothy Trail starts in lush forest and crosses the raging Smith and Camp Robber Creeks. You gain most of the elevation in the first mile, but the beauty is such a distraction that it goes by quickly. You quickly reach the north end of Lake Dorothy, a 2-mile-long alpine lake. Continue hiking along the edge of the lake to the south end where the trail starts to head up a ridge. This is your turn around point for this trip.
There are plenty of places to explore along the lake, to soak your feet, take a swim, contemplate the state of the world and just admire the beauty of nature. The lake is pretty in the fall as well as in the summer. Lake Dorothy is a good spot for a beginner backpack trip to get the family out and to do a gear shakedown for a longer, more strenuous adventure. You will retrace your steps to the trailhead at the end of your trip.
Directions: Drive U.S. 2 to 17.5 miles east of the town of Goldbar. Just west of the tunnel, turn right (south) onto the Old Cascade Highway, signed to Money Creek Campground and drive one mile to Miller River Road/Forest Service Road 6410. Turn right and continue straight for 9.5 miles to the trailhead at the road’s end.
Difficulty rating: 1 (1 is easiest, 5 is most difficult)
Miles round-trip: 8
Elevation: 858 feet
Best time of year: June to October
Map: Green Trails No. 175 Skykomish
Pass: Northwest Forest Pass
Also: Always carry the 10 Essentials and practice Leave No Trace travel, packing out your own trash and what you may find along the trail. With a seemingly bountiful water supply at a lake be sure to bring a system for filtering/purifying your water should you need to replenish your drinking water; you won’t be happy if you find you have transported microbes home with you. Open air toilets are found at the trailhead and the north end of the lake. Along the lake there are beautiful lake-side campsites.
Info: For current road and trail conditions, and pass information, contact Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest, Skykomish Ranger Station at 360-677-2414; www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs; “Best Hikes with Kids Western Washington & the Cascades”, Mountaineers Books.
Hike of the Week is presented by The Mountaineers Tacoma Branch Hiking/Backpacking Committee.