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Myrtle Lake

A long trip up the Entiat River Valley that is worth the drive and the walk, especially in fall, to see the autumn colors. Myrtle Lake is also an approach to beautiful alpine terrain beyond in the Glacier Peak Wilderness.

Maps: View our topo map.  Note: use ‘Print Preview’ before printing to properly scale this map to a full sheet of paper.

Activity: Hiking
Nearest Town: Entiat
Skill Level: 2
Fitness Level: 2 -- fitness level 3 if you do the loop to Larch Lake
Distance: About 10 miles round trip
Elevation: 600 feet

From Highway 97A at the town of Entiat, drive up the Entiat River Road about 38 miles. The trail starts at the end of the road a short ways beyond the turnoff to the Cottonwood Campground.head (Trail No. 1400) is beyond the Cottonwood Campground, 38 miles up the Entiat River Road from its junction with Highway 97 near Entiat. 

Trip Instructions: 
From the trailhead, walk up the Entiat River along Trail 1400 about 4 miles; then turn left and cross the Entiat River on the Cow Creek Meadows Trail No. 1404. Follow this about .4 miles to the north end of Myrtle Lake or, shortly before the lake, turn left and follow a spur trail another half mile to the south end of the lake.

Other Trip Options: 
Hikers who are quite fit and want to reach the high the alpine country, the golden larches, and summit a scramblers peaks can do a very enjoyable one-day blitz or an overnight backpacking trip up to Cow Creek Meadows. From here hike and scramble up the south side of Fifth of July Mountain (7,696 feet). Another option beyond Cow Creek Meadows is to do a loop over to Larch Lakes (5,730 feet), drop back down to the Entiat River and follow the river trail (Trail 1400) back to the car. Most of the country above Myrtle Lake is in the Glacier Peak Wilderness.

Fees/Permits: You'll need either a Northwest Forest Pass ($30 annual pass; $5 day pass), Golden Age, Golden Access, or Golden Eagle Pass to park at the trailhead. 
Uses Allowed: Hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking.
Uses Not Allowed: No motorized use of these trails is allowed, and no mountain bikes are permitted past the Glacier Peaks Wilderness boundary. 

Additional Information: To read the trip report published in the Wenatchee World (Sept 2005), click here.

Additional Info from the Forest Service: 
"Traveling up the Entiat Valley to access the trailhead, visitors should enjoy the gradual transition from areas of human development on private lands in the lower valley to forested areas of mixed conifers, as well as views of majestic rock outcroppings and the rushing waters of the Entiat River. Pay special attention to areas that continue to recover from devastating past wildfires. The Myrtle Lake area is a popular day-use area, due to its easy accessibility. On this trek, you'll cross lovely streams and see a waterfall. A loop trip is made possible by hiking on Trail No. 1400 for five miles to Larch Lakes Trail No. 1430. Camping is available at primitive facilities at Myrtle Lake, or you can go higher to Larch Lakes for an overnight rest. This information from: Entiat Ranger District, 2108 Entiat Way, Entiat, 784-1511."

More Hikes: Maps and details of over 150 regional walks in our on-line hiking guidebook.

Leave It Better Than You Found It
. This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull some noxious weeds along your route, throw branches over unwanted spur trails, don’t ride or walk wet trails when you’re leaving ruts/footprints deeper than ¼ inch…

 Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change, and those contributing these reports are volunteers--they may make mistakes or may not know all the issues affecting a route.You are still completely responsible for your decisions, your actions, and your safety. If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information.