Distance: 0.75 miles
Elevation Gain: 200 feet
Season: Summer to fall
Maps: Green Trails Silverton No. 110
Description: Hike a rough trail less than a mile through second-growth forest to a lovely lake set next to a steep mountainside. Though it’s short, it has a lot of steep ups and downs, and feels longer and harder than the stats make it look. But even young children will be able to make it to this lake with help. Enjoy sitting in the cool forest. There is OK swimming for older children, but is not a good wading destination for younger adventurers. The lake has gorgeous coloring in the afternoon sunlight. There are camping spots and a pit toilet at the far (north) end.
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.) Drive 15 miles east from here to the Coal Lake Road #4060 (across the street from Big Four Ice Caves), and turn left. This gravel road is narrow and bumpy at times, but passenger cars can make it if they go slowly. Drive to the parking area at the end. You will pass Coal Lake and a privy along the way. There are no restrooms or other facilities at the Independence Lake trailhead. A NW Forest Pass is needed at Coal Lake, but not at the Independence Lake trailhead.