Sunday, May 27, 2012

Lake 22: Super Panorama

I created a nice big panorama photo of Lake 22 today. It's 15,919 by 7,495. Click the photo to get the full sized version. You can zoom in enough to see all the waterfalls off of Mt. Pilchuck.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Lake 22 Hike Trip Report

Last week, a coworker mentioned Lake 22 which is in the general vicinity of Lake Stevens and more specifically, about 12 miles east of Granite Falls, WA. The boy and I went up there this past Saturday and while it wasn’t an easy hike, it was definitely worth the trip.
It took us nearly 2.5 hours to get to the lake going steadily up the whole time.
Most of the trail winds through forest.
  The trail winds through the forest Old Growth Fir
While in the forest, the trail follows Creek 22 and given how steep it is, there are lots of waterfalls. Here’s one of the medium sized ones if you combine the upper and lower parts. There a couple that are bigger than this but harder to photograph without getting all daredevil by the edge.
A medium waterfall on Creek 22
Eventually the trail ends up on a big bare section of the mountain that affords some nice views.
The Northern CascadesBig Bear or Liberty Mountain?
The trail at this point is over a whole lot of broken, loose rock.
The trail cuts through a lot of loose rock

Eventually we ended up hiking on snow which was interesting given that it was narrow in places and slippery.
The first glimmer of snow The trail gets to full on snow and can be slippery

The big payoff is when you get up to the lake. It’s pretty spectacular and my pictures do not do it justice.
A Photosynth stitched panorama of Mt. Pilchuck at Lake 22 
Mt. Pilchuck, Lake 22, and lots of snow (in May)
This one has some teeny tiny people in it to the right of center, to give you a sense of perspective of how tall Mt. Pilchuck is:
See the people in the right half?
The snow is still pretty deep up there:
The snow really is deepIn the summer you can walk around the whole lake

The Hiking

Appropriate footwear is important for this hike. Hiking boots are best but a good pair if sneakers with an aggressive sole will work too. Flat sole shoes like Converse High-tops are a bad idea due to the loose rock, the snow, and how the trail takes across many a small brook.
Hiking poles could be handy for the snow parts. I picked up a 2 pair of carbon fiber poles from Costco after the fact for $24/pair. They’ll be useful the next time we go.
Cell phone coverage stops about 2 miles east of Granite Falls. That means you’ll need to check in with your loved ones before leaving town since there’s no reception anywhere near the trailhead.
There were plenty of people on the trail between 2pm and 6pm while we were there which I like in case something bad happens, especially when there is no cell reception.
Check out the WTA link at for more details.

The Photography

  • An 18mm lens on my crop sensor 60D was too narrow to get all of Mt. Pilchuck.
  • Around 4pm when we got to the lake, the sun was in just the perfect place to give that yucky washed out tone.
  • A circular polarizer would be great with all the sky, water, and snow. I don’t yet have one.
  • The canopy in the forest was dense enough to get reasonably even lighting at ground level.