adjective: forlorn

pitifully sad and abandoned or lonely.
“forlorn figures at bus stops”
synonyms: unhappy, sad, miserable, sorrowful, dejected, despondent, disconsolate, wretched, abject, down, downcast, dispirited, downhearted, crestfallen, depressed, melancholy, gloomy, glum, mournful, despairing, doleful, woebegone;

I don’t know who gave this place that name, but these lakes are anything but forlorn.

Tucked into the hills in between Panther Creek and Mt Adams lies this series of small lakes and somewhat primitive campsites.


We packed up the car Friday afternoon and headed towards Trout Lake, WA. We had no original destination and were prepared to even sleep in the car if we had to!

Heading into town we saw a little cafe open with an open courtyard full of locals, we thought perfect! They would direct us in the right direction. After a delicious huckleberry milkshake we spoke with the waitress and she directed us to the Forlorn Lakes. There are a few more popular lakes in the area, but the weekend after memorial day they are filled up with people and mosquitoes!

Head past the ranger station and just keep following that road for about 15 miles. Most the signs will mention Goose Lake, follow those. As you get closer, the Forlorn Lakes will start to be mentioned. The paved road will end and turn into gravel. A very well maintained gravel road mind you. Once you turn onto the road directly to the lake, there will be some potholes, but still, a much better road than some of the others we’re encountered whilst attempting to get lost.

Pulling into the sites you’ll start seeing posts for campsites. There are 4-5 lakes all with a few campsites around them. With only 3-4 campsites on each lake, you can camp without feeling crowded. You can pull in and look at the open sites and lakes to see which one suites your needs to best. Some are double sites, and most of the campsite groupings have a vault toilet. Like the gravel road into it, this facility is well maintained as well. Some of the cleanest I’ve seen for being in the middle of nowhere.

We chose site 13 which was not in one of the loops, but by the side of one of the lakes. No campsites directly near us, a large camp area, but limited beach access.


The trail to the lake under the moonlight. Those are the huckleberry bushes lining the site.

We got there around 8 pm, so we setup camp, started a fire, and roasted us some marshmallows!

Camping under the Stars

Camping under the Stars

Enjoying some smores at the campsite

Enjoying some smores at the campsite

The next morning was a dutch oven feast of eggs and bacon. Upon eating our breakfast we got some visitors from the sites farther down. Low and behold, another little girl to play with! After some initial games and campsite inspections done by both, we packed up and headed down to Trout Lake again. I was brilliant and forgot to break some bills for campsite payment. We checked into the ranger station and also purchased our trail passes for the day. The location of Forlorn is great for families as it is also on the same road as the ice caves and natural bridges (which ill hopefully post on those shortly as well, they wre worth even a day trip)

We spent the day hiking around the nearby sites and enjoying the bright, warm sunny day. We got back to the site around 2, ate some lunch and let the kids splash around in the lake. With it being so shallow, there was plenty of room for them to run around. Next time though, i’m bringing a floaty!

Dinner was spent with fellow campers. We all brought in food and snacks and ended up making a huge pot of random stew. Games were played, smores were ate, and amazing memories were made!

The quiet surroundings, gorgeous scenery, and the proximity somewhat close to civilization make it a great choice for families with kids of all ages.

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