Like so many trails weve been on, the Lake Lillian
Trail #1332 begins on a decommissioned logging road winding through vast acres of recovering clear-cut. This quickly gives way to an actual trail, albeit one that continues to through the aftereffects of logging. Overall, the trail is fairly tame and most of the elevation gain comes at the beginning. The clear-cuts are bursting with blue huckleberries during the season, although there was not much left beyond a few forlorn berries clinging to bushes that have already lost most of their leaves when we passed through. Switchback up the slope toward the shelter of mature Douglas fir and pine while noting the landscape as you ascend. If youre lucky, Mt. Rainier will be out headlining the horizon. Mt. Catherine
is the large isolated mound at the end of Keechelus Lake. In the middle distance you can make out the sharp point of Silver Peak.
Under the protection of the trees youll continue to gain elevation until you attain the ridge. At this plateau the trail diverges. One may continue on to Lillian Lake or take the short spur down to Margaret Lake along the Margaret Lake Trail #1332.1. Wed already decided to reserve Lake Lillian
for another day, so we veered off down the spur to the lake. You almost immediately begin a decent into the bowl below Mount Margaret. As you cross over into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, occasional openings in the trees reveal glimpses of what is to come. For us, the reddened fall foliage on Mount Margaret made it all the more impressive.
The trail opens up into meadows as you near the lakes and the trails become much muddier. If its rained recently, youll want to make sure to take your time and watch your step, as we found the trails pretty slick. Youll first come upon the very small Lake Yvonne so tiny that its not much more than a pond, further leading us to believe that theres something to the names of these lakes. Its as if they had an extra name and needed a lake to go alongwith it. Lake Margaret lies just beyond.
This is a great little hike. Lake Lillian
is fairly popular and most hikers head that direction. Lake Margaret is a little bit less traveled, and if you have some time, there are a number of other lakes right nearby Stonesthrow Lake, Rock Rabbit Lake, and Swan Lake. Many guide books suggest that the trails to these lakes have been lost to neglect, but were pretty sure there are some semi-secret routes to them. If you have sometime, take a look around and let us know if you find anything!
Lake Margaret is one of a several lakes in the area bestowed with female names; Lake Lillian
, Lake Yvonne, and Lake Laura are all fairly close together. We assume there was some theme involved or some story behind the names, but a few hours of searching didnt give us any hints.