Don’t be fooled by its prosaic name. The view at Lake Twenty-two is as grand as it is unexpected. We started our hike on Sunday just off the Mountain Loop Highway. The 2.7 mile trail to the lake was very well mannered; the climb was relatively even with views of waterfalls and large cedars at nicely spaced intervals. The path was very well maintained, almost like a boulevard at times.
The top half of the trail has large open areas (a reminder of the avalanche dangers on steep hillsides), and after hiking through about a half mile of boulders and another .2 back in the woods, we came upon a spectacular view of the frozen lake with the sheer northern face of Mt. Pilchuk behind it.
Despite a little moisture (the “not-quite rain, but somehow my pack is very wet” phenomenon of Northwest hiking), we took a long break and had some lunch at the lake to take in this very impressive site.
As we hiked out, I wondered about how this spectacular lake had failed to get a real name (I am assuming there was no Native American or early explorer with the surname Twentytwo). Given the challenge of maintaining the funding to keep trails like this in such good shape, I would think places like Lake 22 or the ever popular Noname Creek are perfect naming opportunities. What about Lake Sinegal or Allen Creek? Jerry, my brother-in-law and one of the companions on this hike, suggested Mariner Moose Meadows. What about State Farm Slough? Or even Buffett Boardwalk? Of course, this plan would bring us one step closer to trail billboards, and right now, a remote snow-filled basin is about the only place we have left to not encounter marketing.