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Riser Lake Loop

North Cascades > Methow/Sawtooth
48.5071, -120.2190 Map & Directions
3.75 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
403 feet
Highest Point
2,603 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Photo by trip reporter austineats. Full-size image
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Good for kids

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Sno-Parks Permit
Saved to My Backpack

Here's a short snowshoe or simply a wintery hike you can do just outside of Winthrop. Enjoy the shrub-steppe and the views of the hills surrounding the Methow Valley. Continue reading

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Hiking Riser Lake Loop

The Methow Valley is graced with several different ecosystems. The shrub-steppe community is beautifully represented on this casual stroll. Much of the hike is through undisturbed sage and bitterbrush lands. Some of it has a history of ranching and agriculture gradually being consumed back into the natural landscape.

From the parking lot this loop may naturally be hiked in either direction. Venturing out counterclockwise you will reach the lake more quickly. Seasonal change are great to watch from this trail as it is accessible year-round. Winter time the trail is easily managed with snowshoes or sturdy boots. Tracks from coyotes, hares, deer and others provide for much discussion and opportunity for study.

Springtime abounds in wildflowers. The arrowleaf balsam root is stunning here! Summertime can be hot  but early mornings provide for great bird watching. Autumn naturally is a great time to view deer getting ready to rut.

Toilet Information

  • Toilet at trailhead

More information about toilets

Hike Description Written by
Austin Smith, WTA Correspondent

Riser Lake Loop

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 48.5071, -120.2190 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Sno-Parks Permit

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

 From Winthrop, follow the West Chewuch Road for 1.5 miles. Turn left on Rendezvous Road. Turn Left on Gunn Ranch Road. 1 mile west on Gunn Ranch Road is a parking lot and toilet.

More Hike Details


North Cascades > Methow/Sawtooth

Washington State Parks

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Riser Lake Loop

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