To get to North Lake Trail #712.1, drive east along Mountain Loop Highway for 15.0 miles from the Verlot Public Service Center. Turn left (north) onto Coal Lake Road #4060 and continue for 4.8 miles to the trailhead to Independence lake.
A trail pass is required. The best time to travel this trail is during the Summer and into mid-Fall depending on the snow conditions. The distance of the trail is 3.2 miles one way and is set at most difficult.
The North Lake trail begins off the trail of Independence Lake. The trail starts very steep and goes back and forth for 1.0 miles until you reach the ridge. As you continue you will see the north views for 0.5 miles and then come to a second ridge with a gorgeous view of Glacier Peak. There are several other peaks you can see 700 feet below the ridge. Once you are here you can enjoy the views North Lake has to offer or even camp (limited space available) There is also a backcountry restroom.