We hiked to Lake 22, off the Mountain Loop Highway near Granite Pass, on June 21, 2006.
Trail notes: Trail Notes:This 2.5 mile hike starts out climbing slowly for the first 15-30 minutes to the crossing of Twenty-Two creek. The trail is not very steep but there are occasional rocky sections with exposed roots. Past the bridge the trail climbs a little more steeply though this is mitigated by several switchbacks. There are occasional views of waterfalls and cascades on every return to the creek.
Eventually, the trail leaves the creek and forest for a bit treading out onto a rocky and sometimes difficult to navigate talus slope. The trail switches back on the talus several times. Beyond the talus, the trail re-enters the forest, returning to Twenty-Two creek once again. In early spring, this stretch of trail could by quite muddy, with standing water in many spots. The trail continues past more water features, and climbs at a leisurely rate until the lake is reached. The lake itself has an impressive backdrop. The lake is surrounded on 3 sides by cliffs, and it is hard to not be in awe of the setting. Take time to linger here, before enjoying the scenery on the hike back down.
Even in the rain, this is a great hike: streamside scenery, old-growth forests, incredible displays of color on a talus slope, and a beautiful lake with a half-mile high mountain wall as a backdrop make this trip well worth the 5 mile round trip, and 1400 feet of elevation gain. If you've got 3-4 hours, consider spending it on this hike.
Alas, my camera battery died almost immediately, so most of these are cell-phone pictures.