Beaver Lake Trail #783

Starting off on the Beaver Lake Trail, by Martha Rasmussen

Beaver Lake Trial is an enjoyable walk through the woods and is a great family hike.  It also is a very historical trail following the old Sauk River Logging Railroad tracks.  As you start your hike keep an eye out to the right along the river for the old railroad piers.  This was where there once was a bridge crossing the river.  Continuing on your hike you are walking on the old tracks which since have been buried but you will still see them from time to time along the trail and ditches.

Old Sauk River tracks along Beaver Lake Trail, by Martha Rasmussen

This is an easy four season walk,  in spring and early summer you'll find an array of Yellow Wood Violet, Western Bleeding Heart and Trillium along the sides of the trail,autumn is a nice time to see the colors of the leaves and mysterious mushrooms, winter when the snow is not too deep is a nice walk with views of the river and mountains you can see at on other time of the year

Looking out towards the Sauk River and Mount Pugh at the first washout, by Martha Rasmussen

At a little less than a mile, you encounter the first washout where you will see the old tracks protruding from the bank of the Sauk River.  If you look down toward the river you will see the old trestle that at one time was a portion of the trail.  The WTA has made an easily traveled trail through this washout connecting the rout to the beaver pond, however this area is subject to seasonal challenges, in winter and early spring it is best to check with trail conditions.   Once crossing the washout you will hike the newly rerouted portion of the trail that was done by the volunteers on National Trail Day. It is just a short walk through forest to the beaver pond.

Looking from the bridge at the beaver dam, by Martha Rasmussen

You will know you've reached the beaver pond when you come to a wooden bridge crossing a pond and surrounding marsh filled with Skunk Cabbage. From the bridge you see a beaver dam, then you start to look all around....

A truly amazing beaver pond, by Nels Rasmussen, D.C. word, AWESOME! I've seen the work of many busy beavers, but this one is a true artist. This beaver didn't just dam a stream, but created entire walls to create the pond.  Shortly after crossing the bridge that crosses over the beaver pond the trail continues a short distance, then you encounter the second washout which is impassable at this time. For the love of Beavers, their skills and determination, you will not want to miss this beaver pond.

Wintertime on Beaver Lake, by Martha Rasmussen

Beaver Lake Trail use to continue onward to the Mountain Loop Highway due to the river washing it out the trail was divided into two trails.  The southern portion of this trail has been renamed "Lookout Tree Trail #783.1" another very unique walk in history.

Type of trail: USFS
2 miles
Elevation: 900 - 1,000
Level of difficulty: easy

Best Seasons:
  All seasons

Seasonal Interest:
  • Spring - wildflowers, birding
  • Summer - mixed forest, birding
  • Fall - falls colors, salmon spawning, fascinating mushrooms
  • Winter - vistas, possible snowshoeing
General information:
History: This trail follows the old Sauk River Logging Railroad, look for the clues along the way.

Wilderness restriction: No

Restroom: Trailhead Vault Toilet

Bring drinking water

Getting there:  To get to beaver Lake Trail #783, drive south from the Darrington Ranger Station to the Mountain Loop Highway and drive 10 miles, when you pass the turn off for the White Chuck Bridge to the left you will see the road to the trailhead  and parking area on the right.

NW Forest Pass is required for each vehicle parked.

See Hiking the Cascades, Beaver Lake on You Tube

Did You Know?
  • Beavers are the largest rodent in North America.
  • A beaver's teeth never stop growing.
  • Their teeth are orange because they have a lot of iron that makes them very strong.
  • They build dams using rocks, mud, moss and wood from local trees.
  • Their flat tail is used like a rudder, they paddle with their webbed hind feet and grab with their clawed front feet.