Begin from Independence Lake Trail 712. At the northeast end of Independence Lake, the North Lake Trail goes up the hillside in a steep climb, switchbacking for a mile until you reach a ridge. Continue north with views for 0.5 miles and reach a second ridge with Glacier Peak and North Lake lying in a basin 700 feet below.
At this point either enjoy the view and turn homeward or descend to the lake with limited campsites. A backcountry toilet is available.
This trail does not become snow-free until midsummer.
From the Verlot Public Service Center (11 miles east of Granite Falls, WA), drive east along the Mt. Loop Highway 15.0 miles. Turn left (north) on Coal Lake Road (Forest Service road 4060) and continue for 4.8 miles to the Independence Lake trailhead.