Hike to Hidden Lake Lookout

Hidden Lake Trail

Once you've completed the scramble to the top, get 360 degree views of Washington. Hit the trail early if you're hoping to spend the night in the lookout. It's first come, first served.

Be careful when heading up this 4.5 mile trail since there can be snow coverage into the summer. When you start the trail, you'll get a little tree coverage as you start climbing up. Unfortunately, the shade starts to dissipate after about a mile, where you'll cross over Sibley Creek and enter the basin. As you climb, the view gets better - take time to check out the valley below and Mt. Baker. Once you've hiked for about 2.5 miles, the trail will ease its incline grade a bit and allow you to pass through the meadow and catch your breath.

After another mile of hiking, you'll start to get views of the surrounding peaks like Forbidden and Klawatti. Once you reach the saddle, you'll be able to see Hidden Lake below. There's no defined trail to the lake; it's about a 1/2 mile boulder scramble if you're looking to get down there. For the last bit of the hike from the saddle, you'll be scrambling up boulders for 0.5 miles to make it up to the lookout.

Staying here is first come, first served.

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots
  • Ice Axe
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Daypack
  • Camera
  • Light Layers
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RT Distance 8 Miles
Elevation Gain 3300 Feet
Activities Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Dog Friendly


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 


Definitely one of the best ways to experience the PNW and the views! I'd spend a night up there to see the sunset and sunrise and just sit back and relax


Hiked up to the lookout at the end of August and camped over-looking Hidden Lake for the night. First, the hike up was fun....about 3,000 ft elevation gain in 4.5 miles, but fun nonetheless. We went out early hoping to get to the lookout first. We hung out at the lookout for a couple of hours before making our way down towards the lake. We decided to set up camp on the ridge overlooking the lake and man am I glad we did! I woke up around 5:30am, peeked out of the tent and saw just a slight orange tint to the sky. Grabbed my camera and spent the next 2 hours taking some incredible pictures and video of the rising sun. My only regret is not staying longer. In hindsight, we should have prepared to stay up there for two nights and on the second day just explore around the lake and lookout. But this is definitely one of my favorite and most memorable hikes I've had.

Making Friends

A stunning hike, and a great way to make friends by sharing the lookout with some other fellow solo backpackers for a fun night of stories and laughs. Just beware, the road to the TH is rough, like, "this is the end, the end of my Honda!" being shouted several times, rough. In addition, the clouds and storms roll in fast here, what was a sunny calm Thursday evening quickly turned to a Friday morning snowstorm that left me with only 20 feet of visibility while trying to scramble down the peak with wind and ice. Yet, oh so worth it!

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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