It begins by contouring the hillside for a few hundred yards, and then begins to climb through the woods, roughly on a route parallel with the outlet stream from Crater Lake. In fact, if you lose the trail (which is easy to do because of frequent blow-downs) reaching the outlet stream will tell you that you have traveled too far west.
At times, views allow you to look out over the Upper Tolt River valley, where the outlet from Crater Lake drains. The climb up the hillside is steep but short, and soon the route begins to flatten out, as it travels through wet meadows. Prepare for some mud here too. The outlet stream is near now, and some small waterfalls provide a distraction from the mud. After about 1 mile, the trail finally reaches the lake at the outlet, where a large campsite exists in a wooded area. This lake occupies a subalpine basin, and affords views up to the cliffs and ridges of the surrounding peaks.
The lakeshore is easy to navigate, and provides many nice rocks and rest areas.
Map & Directions
Drive US 2 from Monroe to the Money Creek Campground turnoff just before the town of Skykomish. Turn right onto the Miller River road and drive a short distance to the town of Miller River. Take a right on the Money Creek road, and drive approximately 7.3 miles to the road's end and a small parking area. The unofficial trailhead is here.