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Cascade Lake – 4.3mi / 6.9km
A level path takes you through a great mix of meadows and forest to a quiet lake. The trail immediately enters into lodgepole forest but doesn’t remain there for very long. The forest lined meadows are beautiful and Cascade Creek is reached about 1mi/1.6km in. This creates great animal habitat in a picturesque scene.
Cascade Lake comes into view at the end of a broad meadow. The lake is nestled at the base of Observation Peak while a lodgepole forest lines its opposite shore. Turn around here and head back.
The trail at the lake does continue on to Grebe, Wolf, and Ice lakes which can be done as a longer 10.6mi/17km day hike and would require arranging a car shuttle. (See descriptions of Ice Lake, Wolf Lake, and Grebe Lake for more route options that include Cascade Lake.) An alternative trailhead is the Cascade Creek trailhead that starts in a nice, big meadow, but spends most of its time in the trees and adds an additional 1mi/1.6km round trip.
Trailhead: The Cascade Lake trailhead is located just north of Canyon Junction on the Grand Loop Road. The Cascade Creek trailhead is just west of Canyon Junction on the Norris-Canyon Road.
Elevation Gain: 50ft / 15m – Elevation Loss: 50ft / 15m