A Northwest Hike to Barclay Lake

Last week during the heatwave we decided to escape to Barclay Lake, a hike my husband had wanted to take every time we crossed the Cascades.

We turned off Highway 2 at Baring onto a one lane road full of potholes, making for a bumpy but beautiful ride four miles to the trailhead.

The trail started at 2,200 feet and mostly followed along Barclay Creek gaining less than 500 ft. (my kind of hike.)

The forest was cool and fragrant and there were plenty of native plants to admire, including baby ferns unfurling,

There was also the sinister sounding Devil’s Club or Devil’s Walking Stick (haha) with needlelike spines on its stalk and leaves. I was intrigued to learn it’s been used medicinally for hundreds of years. No not for acupuncture. Harvested stems, leaves, stalks and berries are made into teas, tinctures, salves and ointments.

There was fungus growing everywhere too,

including the one below which looked like a hamburger.

“Look Bob! Someone left us lunch!”

We crossed Barclay Creek and made the final trek to the lake.

We soon encountered the only rough part of the trail – a small avalanche field of packed snow covered with fallen trees and dirt.

We managed easily and the payoff was great – a crystal clear alpine lake with craggy Mt. Baring rising to 6,127 ft. behind.

After lunch we headed back and stopped to cool off in Barclay Creek. We could only handle the ice cold water for a few seconds at a time but it was refreshing!

As we neared the end of the trail we enjoyed views of waterfalls high on the mountains across the valley.

Four and a half miles round trip through the forest. With mountains, creek, alpine lake, and waterfalls.

What more do you want in a hike?

~ Susanne

34 Comments on “A Northwest Hike to Barclay Lake

  1. Very much my kind of hike. Ollie would love it there, as he could cool off in that very cold river. I liked the hamburger fungus too! πŸ™‚
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. A gorgeous hike in one of the most beautiful places in the world! And it’s in your backyard! Terrific photos as always…

  3. Oh there is nothing like a good foot soak in the water after a long hike, Susanne! I just love that fungus burger, yum, yum, and truly amazing! What a gorgeous area! Portland was cool and partly cloudy last weekend, too, a welcome respite after the heat we all had in WA!.

    • Thanks so much Terri! It was a perfect NW hike. That fungus really did look like a hamburger! πŸ˜„ And our feet appreciated the soak in Barclay Creek but only a few seconds at a time. It was ice cold!

  4. That looks like a great hike and one I hadn’t heard of before. I like the hamburger fungus and your dip in the cold water reminded me of a hike in Switzerland. On a broiling hot day and my hiking partner and I were reveling in the prospect of a dip in the lake that was our destination. When we got there, one toe dipped in the water was enough to cool our enthusiasm for swimming. It was ice blue glacial melt water.

    • Thanks Graham. I hadn’t heard of it either. Bob had seen the cutoff when we’d take Highway 2 over the mountains and read up on it. It was perfect for us.

      And I can picture that beautiful lake in Switzerland!!

  5. That looks and sounds like my kind of hike too – not too long, not too much climbing, a shady forest to walk through and stunning views at the end πŸ™‚ The hamburger fungus and the opportunity to cool tiring feet in the creek are both bonuses!

    • It really was perfect for us. The trail was in good shape and the forest and scenery were awesome! The hardest part may have been the bumpy one lane road getting there!

      • Ah yes, that doesn’t sound so good. And if we were ever to come back to the Cascades we would be in a hire car, and such roads would be out of bounds 😦

  6. Your photos were refreshing! I loved the beauty of the native plants and forests.😊🌺

  7. Whenever I relish your photos I am reminded by how “young” the Western mountains are and how “old” the ones in the East. Thanks for the trip.

  8. Looked it up, wow, that’s a very twisty road from Baring to Barclays Lake! I would love to take this hike, maybe check it out if we get to go to Leavenworth for a few days soon. Wonderful pictures, Susanne!

    • Thanks so much.😊 The road was really bumpy but it was a nice hike with fantastic views so it was worth it! Bob had read about it in advance so we took our truck; the potholes were like craters! 😁

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