Scenic Alpine Lake
Washington's Cascades are full of lovely alpine lakes, some quite inaccessible. But Heather Lake is one of the easiest to hike, less than hour off Interstate 5 east of Everett. Nestled on the flank of Mt. Pilchuck in a glacial cirque, Heather Lake is also a relatively easy hike. With an elevation gain of about 1,000 feet and a not very steep trail, this hike is a good warm-up at about 5 miles round trip.
After passing through lush second-growth forest the first mile, the trail goes through majestic old-growth forest (prime for hugging:). Be sure to follow the trail that circumnavigates the lake, then choose a huge boulder to enjoy the view.