Moss Lake Natural Area by Stickerbush Hill via Lake Joy / 莫斯湖

  • Reading time:6 mins read

Moss Lake Natural Area lies under one mile east of Lake Joy by Stickerbush Hill. It features 42 mixed-use trails totaling 17 miles. Meanwhile, Tolt River’s two forks merge below the east and flow into Snoqualmie River in Carnation.

The focal point of Moss Lake Natural Area
The focal point of Moss Lake Natural Area

See more trip photos here.

Moss Lake Natural Area at a Glance

Access: Moss Lake Road gate (park info)
Round Trip: 7.6 miles
Elevation Range: 500′-980′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes
Playlist: Goodbyes

Moss Lake Road Gate

I visited the nearby Moss Lake in Carnation, WA, with only half a day available. As I discovered while hiking, north of the area bordered Campbell Global permit zone. Talk about a buzzkill for not knowing ahead of time.

Recreation Access Permits (2023)
> MOTORIZED RECREATION ACCESS PERMIT ($300, up from $275 in 2022)
> NON-MOTORIZED ANNUAL PERMIT ($75, up from $60 in 2022)
> NON-MOTORIZED ONE-DAY PERMIT FOR INDIVIDUALS ($10/day)
> NON-MOTORIZED ONE-DAY PERMIT FOR FAMILIES ($15/day)

Moss Lake Road had lots of unexpected potholes to navigate through. But it was more of a surprise to see a closed gate a quarter mile before the parking lot. Another car was also there when I pulled up to the entrance.

Cascade Peak above North Fork Snoqualmie River
Cascade Peak above North Fork Snoqualmie River

See more trip photos here.

Bike Trails, Roads, Spur Paths, Oh My!

Moss Lake was about 1000 feet from the parking lot, much closer than I thought. The boggy lakeshore only had a few feet of standing room to view the water. Soon, I returned to the main path and continued on the Rim Trail.

As it turned out, I couldn’t see Tolt River below the east as I thought I would. East views were spotty through the dense trees. But I could still peek at Calligan Point and Cascade Peak above North Fork Snoqualmie River Valley.

Donald Duck figurine on the tree
Donald Duck figurine on the tree

See more trip photos here.

Back to Moss Lake Natural Area

I hugged the outer loop into the clearing above Stossel Creek and saw Hill 1125. Then I followed the Ridge Trail west onto the logging road. The path cut through several bike tracks and soon returned to the natural area.

I took the Lake View Trail, which initially gave spotty lake views. After passing a group and chatting briefly with a guy with his black lab, I returned to Moss Lake. Then I met Lisa from the neighborhood by the gate and talked for a long time!

Finding my way home
Finding my way home

See more trip photos here.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Nick Struthers

    Was it lisa who opened the gate?

  2. onehikeaweek

    No, it was open before she got there. You must know her, it sounds like.

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