Crystal Lake Trail #638

Experience The Serene Of Crystal Lake!

Coming up to the drainage of Crystal Lake & headwaters of Crystal Creek,
photo by Martha Rasmussen

You start your hike on a  portion of the barricaded Meadow Mountain forest road, #2710.  At 1.5 miles you will come to a junction with Meadow Mountain trail #657 straight ahead and Crystal Lake trail #638 to the left.  Take the left trail which continues on another deteriorating forest road cracking and developing holes in areas and can be quite brushy.  When you reach miles 2 you will come to the end of the old road and the trail will begin steeply climbing up an old firebreak. 

Crystal Lake in late summer, photo by Martha Rasmussen

Though this is a very steep scramble up hill take a break to enjoy Crystal Creek Falls as it drops about 40 feet down a rock embankment.  After about .5 miles the firebreak levels off and becomes a trail with mature forest as you enter the Glacier Peak Wilderness.

Crystal Lake reflections, photo by Kim Brown

Ironically once you reach the lake you will come to a forest service built trail crossing the outlet stream with large stepping stones and continuing on to Circle Peak Trail #638.1.
heading up hill. 
This trail travels along Crystal Creek then begins it steep climb to the majestic Circle Peak where once a fire lookout was once located. 

The rock landscapes of Crystal Lake, photo by Nels Rasmussen

There are several camp spots nestled amongst the trees and across the creek.  Please camp in
established sites. Crystal Lake is a beautiful deep 20 acre lake with several way trails to explore.  The banks of the lake are carpeted in heathers and other wildflowers.  There is one wilderness toilet adjacent to the southeast shore and the signage is a bit challenging to follow.

Crystal Lake in late autumn, photo by Bob Herzer

Type of Trail: USFS
Length: 5 miles one way
Elevation: 2,500 - 4,500
Level of difficulty: more difficult

Best Seasons:  Summer & fall

General Information:
History:  Trail follows an old fire break continuing on past Crystal Creek to Circle Peak is one of the old routes to the old Circle Peak Fire Lookout site.

This trail is not maintained for livestock 
Northwest Forest Pass is required

Wilderness Restrictions: Yes, Crystal Lake enters the Glacier Peak Wilderness

Restroom: None

Bring drinking water

Getting There: From the Darrington Ranger Station take the Mountain Loop Highway 9.0 miles to the White Chuck Rd. FS #23, (just past the White Chuck Bridge) and turn left, (east).  Follow this Road for 6.0 miles to Rat Trap Pass Rd. FS #2700 which is signed (Meadow Mountain Trail).  Turn left, (north) and drive 2.4 miles to the trailhead, which may not be signed, on your right.

Further Information: Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest