This gem of an alpine lake, situated in a cirque beneath the glaciated summit of Little Devil Peak, is ringed by verdant meadows and frequented by resident wildlife.
Initially sharing tread with the hikers heading to Lookout Mountain, the path toward jewel-colored Monogram Lake immediately begins ascending steeply through a seemingly endless series of switchbacks. Climbing the ridge between Lookout and Monogram Creeks, rushing water is heard but not seen, and views are limited to the thick forest lining both sides of the trail.
At 2.5 miles, reach the first reliable water source. After slogging upwards nearly 2,400 feet to reach this creek, you’ll want to take a few minutes to fill your water bottles and splash your face with the refreshing water. Just 0.3 miles beyond the creek, reach a junction. The Lookout Mountain Trail veers left; stay right to continue on to the lake. Shortly after the trail splits, you'll cross the boundary into North Cascades National Park.
The trail continues upward, and a mile beyond the park boundary, a creek crossing offers another chance to replenish your water supply. Rejoice as you break out of the thick tree cover and enter the splendid world of subalpine meadows.
Stunted hemlocks punctuate the lush green meadows, and brightly colored wildflowers, like glacier lilies and pink heather, bloom in season. In less than a half mile, crest a ridge and take in the expansive mountain views. 500 feet below and 0.7 miles away, sits sparkling Monogram Lake at the base of jagged Little Devil Peak.
A quick descent brings you to the meadowed shore of the lake. Relax along the lake shore; you’ve earned it! Just remember to tread lightly and camp only in designated sites in order to preserve this delicate subalpine environment.
WTA Pro Tip: Overnight camping at the lake requires a $26 national park wilderness permit and a bear canister.
- 9.8 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 4,675 feet
- Highest Point
- 5,719 feet
The Cascade River Road is closed for the winter season
Hiking Monogram Lake
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 48.5370, -121.2940 Open in Google Maps