7 routes · Hiking
Fantastic backcountry campsites await at the stunningly-beautiful Thornton Lakes.
- 15 km
- 1.1 km
- 1.1 km
- 4-5 hrs
- Low Point
- 752 m
- High Point
- 1.5 km
The 9-mile round-trip route might not sound too long, but with about 3,500 vertical feet of elevation gain, it makes for a stiff but achievable day hike.
The hike to the lake starts off easy, following "a brushy old road grade for the first half of the trail with minimal elevation gain," according to PlanetWare.com.
Then, the route reaches a true trail and a real climb as it quickly begins ascending steeply up to a ridgeline, finishing with a series of steep switchbacks. On the ridge, you'll enjoy stunning views of the North Cascades, including Teebone Ridge, Skagit Valley, and Trapper Peak. If you take a right on top of the ridge, you can continue climbing to the summit of Trapper Peak.
Once you're done admiring the view, you'll drop down a steep half-mile to the lakes, where you'll find the campsites along the lakeshore. Note that a permit is required for overnight camping, but not for day hiking.
Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.
Best time to visit
- Water features