Beaver Lake Trai

I was about to start this off with, “follow the Mountain Loop Highway,” but the second my fingers put it to screen all I wanted was to break into “Follow the Yellow Brick Road.” A bit odd yes, but if you’ve ever been, it probably makes total sense. The section of Mountain Loop Highway between Darrington and Granite Falls is full of hiking trails and vistas that are as good as gold and as much of an adventure as Dorothy and Toto’s trek to OZ.

This time around I am featuring the Beaver Lake Trail, located about 10 miles south of Darrington. The trail has a distance of about 4 miles in and out. The nice thing about this one is that, other than a few small up’s and down’s and quite a bit of water and mud, it is easy as pie, mostly, clear of overgrowth, and perfect for kids and any skill level.

The first highlight of this trail comes when you start to follow directly along the Sauk River, and by directly I mean a fairly narrow path that is left over from erosion into the river. No worries, I’ve seen narrower and higher up, so this is not all that bad. If you watch the river closely enough, you will catch site of several rail pieces from the former Saulk River Lumber Company sticking up out of the water.

Next up, shortly after a single switchback, you will come to a brown wooden bridge. If you are like us, you would probably be scratching your head and wondering if you were in fact at Beaver Lake. After all, its not much of a lake, mostly taken over by grass, plants, and trees, it is more akin to a wetland area. But, rest assured, it is Beaver Lake.

Based on the small stick home we saw located of to the right of the far end of the bridge the lake does seem to in fact have beavers. We just didn’t see any!

Instead of accepting that small disappointment and turning around to go back, we instead pushed on further toward where the trail was washed out, about another .5 to .75 of a mile. I am so glad we made this decision as what can be found at the end of the trail makes the entire hike worth it. Word of warning, slugs are replaced by some pretty awesome looking snails for the bridge forward, so watch your step.


When the trail abruptly ends, the forest opens up on a small offshoot of the Saulk River, the river itself, and amazing views of the surrounding mountains and hills. If you are brave enough to climb down to the water (if I made it down and up, anyone can), there is quite a bit of exploring that can be done and pictures to be taken. After trying to get around on rock tops in the water, I think most of us succumbed to the mud patches and went forth sans shoes.

There are tadpoles, crab like creatures that appear to be sticks until they start moving around (they are everywhere, no idea what they are), and what appears to be quite a bit of shiny flakes which yet again reminds me that we need to start bringing a gold pan with us on some of these adventures.

Whether it is the real thing or not, the kids love thinking it is. There are also quite a bit of interesting rocks at this spot, as well as along the trail. We also need to start bringing some rock tools with us, as The SnoCo Kid, my future geologist, pointed out.

My favorite part of the hike, however, had to be the mist rising off the river and highlighting the surrounding mountains and hills. It is a beautiful sight to see, relaxing, and makes for some amazing pictures if you are into that sort of thing (I Sooooo am).

We spent quite a bit of time enjoying those views and the water before attempting, but mostly failing, to clean the mud off our feet and shoes, climbing back up to the trail, and heading back. If you are looking for short and simple, this trail is it!

Did you know that this article, as well as all of the others featured on our website are part of a monthly magazine. Our monthly magazine is available in both electronic and print form (yes, you read right, print!). As if that wasn’t awesome enough, each issue contains exclusive content that can’t be found on our website or social media accounts. So if you aren’t getting a copy each month you are missing out.

Single issues can be bought HERE and annual subscriptions, which include exclusive giveaways and discounts, can be signed up for HERE. Finally, a limited number of printed copies are available at The Chic Boatique,  Artisans Mercantile, and Tried & True Boutique in Snohomish and Reclaimed Heart in Arlington, Vintage Company No. 7 in Bothell, Ladders Clothing & Company in Stanwood Island, Rustic Redemption in Granite Falls, and Vintage & Rust in Monroe.

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