Hidden Lakes Trail #477


This is a heavily traveled route into a string of popular fishing lakes with fine views for the first 7 miles. The rest of the trail is mostly in timber and valley bottom to the lakes and beyond. At Hidden Lakes there is a junction with the Tatoosh Buttes Trail #485 leading steeply to high open meadow country. Since there is no grazing at Hidden Lakes, this is a common destination for stock users. The string of lakes are interesting in that there is actually a pass between Middle and Big Hidden lakes with Big Hidden draining north to Canada and the rest of the lakes draining south via Lost River to the Methow. Lost River can be reached by taking a side path about 100 yards south of Diamond Creek. This steep 0.25 mile path reaches scenic meadows and sand bars along the river. Hikers can make loop trips to the Sheep Mountain area by using the East Fork Pasayten Trail #451 over Dollar Watch Pass or turning up McCall Gultch Trail #548 or the Boundary Trail #533 over Bunker Hill (but those trails are were burned over in 2006 burn and are impassable to stock).  Larch Creek Trail #502 takes you back to the Billy Goat Trailhead.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: For current trail conditions go to- http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/okawen/alerts-notices
Area Amenities: Interpretive Site,Fee charged for some activities,Picnic tables,Toilets,Parking
Fees Recreation Pass is required. $5/vehicle/day Northwest Forest Pass can be purchased from a self-pay station provided at the trailhead.
Permit Info: Wilderness permits required in Pasayten Wilderness. Free, self-issue permit is available at each trailhead.
Open Season: Mid-June - October
Best Season: August
Busiest Season: July-September
Restrictions:  Wilderness use restrictions apply. No motorized or mechanized vehicles. Certified weed free hay is required on National forest lands (processed grains are okay).
Closest Towns: Winthrop, WA
Water: No potable water
Restroom: At trailhead only
Passes: Recreation Pass is required. $5/vehicle/day Northwest Forest Pass can be purchased from a self-pay station provided at the trailhead.
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Methow Valley Ranger District

General Information


From Winthrop travel north on West Chewuch Road (county road 1213) for 9.2 miles. Turn left onto Forest Service Road 5130 (Eightmile Creek Road). Follow signs for 16 miles to the Billy Goat Trailhead. The hiker trailhead (with limited parking) is located at end of road, one mile beyond horse trailhead.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

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Lake and Pond Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Lake and Pond Fishing:

Lake fishing at Cougar Lake and Hidden Lakes.


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Horse Riding & Camping

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Toilets vault toilets at trailhead only
Picnic tables day use picnic tables
Parking Stock ramp & hitch rails at larger, lower stock parking area and hiker parking at upper, smaller parking area.
Fee charged for some activities self-pay stations available for required recreation pass
Interpretive Site information bulletin board