While visiting my sister’s in Washington, we had a friend watch the boys so we could get some one on one time. Of course my activity of choice was a hike and due to Leilani’s back injury it had to be a shorter one with less climbing, Turning to my trusty AllTrails app I found Barclay Lake, an easy 4.3 mile out and back trail that features a cool mountain lake.


Type: Easy

Length: 4.3 miles

Elevation Gain: 387 ft

Good for: All ages

Getting There

From Monroe you take the US 2 for about 40 minutes as if you’re going to Steven’s Pass. I suggest using a map because the turn off isn’t very obvious and it would be easy to miss.

Once you go off the highway you drive up the mountain on a very narrow, windy, bumpy country road for quite a while. You have to go slowly to take the potholes and to watch for cars coming in the opposite direction because there is very little room for passing. I suggest taking a higher vehicle/one with 4X4 if it’s raining, little cars really struggled getting to this trailhead.

Hiking Through Old Growth

We were all relieved to finally get to the trailhead and after a pitstop at the very nasty trailhead outhouse we started off. My sisters were making fun of me because I kept marvelling over the stumps of the “old growth.” I didn’t start regularly hiking until I moved to Canada so seeing those huge trees were awe inspiring.

We made a trailside stop to check out the creek and explore a few areas.

I just love how vibrant everything in the Pacific Northwest is! It is so lush and has so many shades of green as you hike.

Barclay Lake

We hiked along chatting and before we knew it we arrived at Barclay Lake. There weren’t many people as we hiked mid-week but the most scenic point had people already and we knew we needed privacy to swim and play.

We walked along the lakeshore a little bit more until finding a private spot and I convinced Lauras to join me in an icy lake swim. Compared to the lakes in the Rockies, this one was very comfortable though.

We spent quite a bit of time playing around and posing to get that perfect shot. You know the one- the Instagram post that everyone loves. My sisters and I are big goofballs, and it’s amplified when we’re together so the perfect shot never really happened. Instead we got many wonderful gems like these.

We spent a good amount of time lounging on a large fallen log over the water, taking in the scenery, chatting and joking, and watching fish jump. In fact, I forgot I turned my camera on to get a shot of us swimming in the lake and recorded 16 wonderful minutes of us being us. It’s a perfect peek into what we’re like together, complete with us being goofy even when the others aren’t looking.

We passed a couple who was camping by the lake which would be such a fun activity to do with kids as the hike in is so simple. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a short and easy day hike with a great reward.


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