Home Hikes Barclay Lake: A Gem in the Baring, WA Wilderness

Barclay Lake: A Gem in the Baring, WA Wilderness

by Ryan

Washington state is renowned for its stunning natural beauty, and the Barclay Lake hike is a perfect example of what makes this area so special. Nestled in the western region of the Central Cascades, this hike is an ideal escape for those seeking peace and natural beauty without a strenuous trek. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a family looking for an outdoor adventure, Barclay Lake offers an accessible and rewarding experience.

Trail Details:

  • Distance: The Barclay Lake trail is a gentle 4.4 miles round trip, making it an excellent choice for a leisurely day hike.
  • Elevation Gain: The trail has a minimal elevation gain of about 500 feet, offering a relatively flat path that’s perfect for all ages and fitness levels.
  • Trailhead Directions: To reach the Barclay Lake trailhead, head east on Highway 2 from Everett. Turn right onto Forest Service Road 6024, just past the town of Baring. Continue for about 4.3 miles to the trailhead at the road’s end. The road is generally well-maintained but can be rough in places, so drive carefully.

The Hike to Barclay Lake:

As you start on the Barclay Lake trail, you’ll be immediately greeted by a lush canopy of old-growth forest. The dense foliage and towering trees create a serene ambiance, almost like stepping into another world. The trail is well-maintained and follows Barclay Creek, providing the soothing sounds of running water as you hike.

Along the way, you’ll encounter small wooden bridges crossing over streams, adding to the charm of the hike. The gentle trail is sprinkled with informative signs detailing the local flora and fauna, making it not just a hike but an educational experience too.

Arriving at Barclay Lake:

The trail ends at the serene Barclay Lake, a picturesque body of water surrounded by the imposing Baring Mountain and Merchant Peak. The lake’s calm waters offer stunning reflections of the surrounding peaks, making it a perfect spot for photographers and nature lovers.

There are several areas around the lake to relax, have a picnic, or just enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings. For those who want to explore further, there are informal trails along the lake’s perimeter.

Tips for Your Visit:

  • Best Time to Go: Summer and early fall are the best times to visit Barclay Lake, as the trail is mostly snow-free and the weather is pleasant.
  • What to Bring: Pack a lunch, plenty of water, a camera, and perhaps a good book to enjoy by the lake. Don’t forget to bring layers, as the weather can change quickly in the mountains.
  • Camping: Overnight camping is allowed near the lake, making it a great spot for a beginner’s backpacking trip.
  • Leave No Trace: Remember to pack out all your trash and keep this beautiful area pristine for others to enjoy.


Barclay Lake is a true treasure of Washington’s hiking landscape, offering an easy yet rewarding hike suitable for the whole family. Its combination of accessibility, natural beauty, and tranquility makes it a must-visit for anyone looking to explore the Pacific Northwest’s outdoor wonders. Pack your day bag and set out for a peaceful day in the heart of the Cascades!

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