“A great steep run with a beautiful lake for a halfway point. Pack enough food and water on this great adventure.
— T Anders
Summer into fall, NW Trail Pass or equivalent.
A steep run but rewarding.
Birding — Lake — River/Creek — Swimming — Views — Wildlife
Don't forget to bring extra food and water.
Be ready for the distance and elevation gains. The map can make it look like a deceptively short distance due to the switchbacks and elevation gain. This is a great training run but on a hot day you might need extra water/fuel.
This out-and-back starts out easy enough at the south end of Wyeth State Park with a slight uphill. But be prepared, there is about 4000 feet of elevation gain over the coming miles. It quickly begins climbing into the trees, and the switchbacks continue; some parts of the trail climb at over 1000 ft gain per mile.
Eventually, the trail begins to make its way out of the canyon into more moderate terrain. Make sure you go left at the fork and finally you get a break with a slight downhill and meander through a fairly overgrown muddy part of the trail as you cross Lindsay Creek and arrive at North Lake not long after. The lake is a welcome sight, and especially in the later summer months, is a great place to swim and fish. Or just enjoy watching the crawdads in the small pool near the beginning of the creek and dam.
If you want, continue running to explore Rainy Lake to the south, or Bear Lake or Mt. Defiance to the east. North Lake can be driven to (with a short run in) but it is usually not as busy as many of the more accessible areas.