The 8.5-mile, round trip hike to Melakwa Lake will give you plenty of time to ponder the meaning behind the name. Melakwa in Chinook means mosquito.
The first section of the hike is through old-growth forest, with a gentle grade upwards. The trail takes you underneath I-90.
Traffic noise does eventually fade.
About a mile into the hike, you'll cross a flat slab of Denny Creek which acts like a natural water slide. It's a fun place for families to spend time on a hot day. Look for the sign that says "Main Trail" to continue.
Around four miles in, you hop over Hemlock Pass and the trail starts to head downhill.
Just another half-mile before you reach Melakwa Lake.
Take a stroll around the left side of the lake, and about a quarter-mile further is Upper Melakwa Lake.