Getting Kids Out Into Nature

Boardman Lake

Distance: 2 miles RT

Elevation Gain: 300 feet

Season: Late spring through late fall

Maps: Green Trails No. 110 Silverton

Description: Walk through old forest of mature trees to a peaceful lake in a forested bowl. This trail starts out next to Lake Evan, which is muddy and brushy. Don’t be discouraged, though, because better things await. Gentle climbing alternates with easy sauntering, though little feet will need to watch out for roots and rocks. My children loved the giant yellow cedars with claw-like branches. After winding through a rocky ledge area, the trail descends into the lake basin, a short mile from the car. There are spaces along the outlet to sit, or clamber over the logjam and find one of the hidden campsites on the other side. Young children will find safe places to wade and splash, and older kids will be able to swim farther out. Huckleberries and fall colors make this a beautiful destination, despite the short distance. There is a rustic toilet box near the campsites. Recent reports suggest the road is in pretty rough shape, so drive slowly and be aware that low-clearance cars may not make it.

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, look for FR 4020 on the left. Follow this bumpy, winding road carefully up 2.7 miles to a junction. Bear left, and drive 2.2 more miles to the trailhead. You’ll need your NW Forest Pass to park.

Links: Read one of our trip reports about this hike. Check the WTA trip reports for current information.