WA State: Barclay Lake Hike

Washington State Barclay Lake-2560One of our favorite family hikes is the gentle Barclay Lake trail on Highway 2 past Monroe and Index.

The trail is 4.4 miles roundtrip with negligible elevation gain and there is plenty along the way to keep the wee ones interested: streams, boardwalks, bridges, and big rocks.

The lake is long and narrow, with excellent lunch spots along the entire shore. The hulking Baring Mountain towers above the water and provides a break from the surrounding evergreens. The lake is typically low in the summer, but on our most recent trip in February was snow-free and nicely filled.

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There are five primitive campsites along the lake. While ideal as a first backpacking trip for the kids, they fill up quickly during the summer weekend months so getting there early is advised. They are also situated directly on the trail so expect lots of day-trippers to be strolling on by during your stay.

Like most high alpine lakes in Washington, Barclay is chilly (even during the summer) but the young ones might find the lure of the water simply too much to resist.

Also:Games to Play to Keep Kids Hiking


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Adapted from the Washington Trails Association Site: From Monroe, head east on US-2 to the townlet of Baring, Washington. Near milepost 41 and across from Baring General Store, turn left (north) onto 635th Place NE. Cross the railroad tracks and continue 0.3 miles. Reach a junction and keep left on 635th Place NE for 0.1 mile. The road becomes FR-6024; continue 3.9 miles to the trailhead. There is a privy at the trailhead and parking for about 20 cars. 

Trip Stats:
4.4 miles roundtrip. 500 feet elevation gain.
350 feet elevation gain.

Northwest Forest Service Pass

This is a busy trail in the summer and the parking area fills up quickly. Plan to arrive early (prior to 10 am). There is additional parking along the entry road but it’s narrow and tough to negotiate if there are scores of hikers.


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