Distance: Up to 5.4 miles RT if you do all 3 lakes
Elevation Gain: Up to 800 feet
Season: Summer through fall
Description: Start out hiking up an old logging road, surrounded by the lush forest. Continue on copious boardwalks and wood circles as you circumvent Beaver Plant Lake on the way to Upper Ashland Lake. These may be slippery when wet, so use caution. There are campsites and places to rest along the way, and you can walk around Upper Ashland Lake to see it from all angles. Much of these lake shores are marshy, but you might find places to get down to the water to play. If you have had enough walking, you can rest here and turn around, but if you have energy, you should consider continuing down to Lower Ashland Lake. You will be descending on a rougher trail to the lower lake, and younger children may need a hand to hold.
Directions: From I-5 in Everett, take Hwy 2 east. Just after you cross over the trestle (the flat part over the fragrant river bottoms) take exit 204 toward Lake Stevens. This road takes you up the hill, and just before you drive into Frontier Village shopping center, take the exit to the left (north) for SR 9. Drive north for about 1.5 miles, then take the exit for Hwy 92 toward Granite Falls. Drive through Granite Falls, and turn left/north on the Mountain Loop Hwy. Follow the Mt. Loop Hwy past the Ranger Station in Verlot (it’s a good place to use the restroom and purchase passes if needed; make sure they are open that day if you need a pass.) About 4.6 miles past the ranger station, turn right onto FR 4020, the same road for Boardman Lake and Bear and Pinnacle Lakes. After 2.7 miles, reach a junction, and turn right onto FR 4021 (this is not signed for Ashland Lakes, but it is for Boardman and Bear.) In 1.4 miles, bear left onto the spur road, and drive this rough road to the parking area at the end. There is an outhouse. You’ll need a Discover Pass to park.
Links: Read the WTA info about this hike.