This is a wonderful hike to a delightful alpine lake surrounded by steep mountains and fields filled with whistling marmots (sometimes they’re shy though). This trail is steep and dry with some exposed areas, so bring lots of water and sunscreen. The lake can be quite buggy in the summer so bring your bug juice, too. Climb up Merritt Lake Trail #1588 steeply for 2.5 miles to a junction. Go right (the left trail leads to Rock Lake). The trail begins to flatten somewhat here. Another 0.5 miles and you’ll reach the lake. This lake was named after the town of Merritt, which was one of the first Eastern Cascade stops for the Great Northern Railway. In 1937, the town of Merritt had a railroad station, a post office, one hotel, a service station, and three recorded farms. Locals used to picnic and fish at the lake. Still do.
Directions to Trailhead
From Leavenworth, start your odometer after you pass the gas station on the corner of Icicle Road and Highway 2 West. Drive 23.3 miles on Hwy 2 West and take a right onto Road #657 (there is a sign marked Merritt Lake Trail). From Stevens Pass travel Highway 2 East for 11.3 miles and go left onto Road #657. Follow Road #657 1.6 miles to the end of the road and the trailhead parking lot.