Snow Lake

18 reviews #32 hike out of 988 in
6.0 mi
Distance
2 hrs 46 min
Time
terrain
1,280 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

This is a difficult out and back trail to Snow Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

It is heavily trafficked but worth the crowds. You'll hike in through beautiful forest, up and over a ridge with astounding views around you, and end up at an amazing alpine lake for not much effort compared to most of the lakes in the region.

For some more solitude, continue hiking around the edge of the lake and onto Gem Lake, or the Wildcat Lakes. These lakes are a bit higher in elevation than Snow Lake but due to this you'll lose the crowds a bit the further you go.

Getting Started

Park in the Alpental Ski Area parking lot (to the left of the road) and head across the road to the trailhead (you want to go the opposite direction from the covered bridge crossing the river). Fill out a self issued wilderness permit before heading onto the trail from here.

A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park, or you can pay the day parking fee of $5. There are toilets and a picnic table at the trailhead.

See the Washington Trails Association webpage here for more information.


Sights to See


    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    2 years, 2 months ago
    Very nice views, it took 3:30 walking between going up and down.
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    1 month, 3 weeks ago

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Public Tracks

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robert.arora 8 years ago
Snow Lake
Well.. this was an adventure. Decided to finally do Snow Lake on a day when there wouldn't be anyone on the trail. National Weather Service called for up to a ridiculous 8-10" of rain, and Gale force winds. Turns out they were actually right for once. Who knew? The entire trail was a waterfall. Probably a minimum of 2-3 inches underwater the whole way, with most of it at the 5-6 inch mark. There were entire sections that had flooded so bad, that we had to bushwack around. Made for a long, cold hike... with the wind blowing the rain sideways. We are VERY well geared for wet weather, considering we do this EVERY week. None the less... we were totally soaked by the end of this. I literally wrung out my socks and dumped 2"'of water out of my "waterproof" Keens at the end. I imagine this is normally a great little hike. Lots to see, and tons of waterfalls along the way. Unfortunately, on this day... it was just ONE long waterfall. ;0)
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Nicholas Heilweil 8 years ago
Rob: Snow Lake
Note: this trip was 7 miles on the dot. ET GPS screwed up (again). Had been meaning to hike this trail for some time now, but it's pretty short, so we always opted for something longer. We decided to finally hike this during the worst rain-storm of the year. Accuweather called for 4-10 inches of rain, and wow... were they accurate. This entire trail was under water. Probably half of it was under 6 inches, and running rapidly. If was hard to tell the trail from the streams, and the waterfalls were tricky to cross in 2 places. Under better circumstances, this looks to be a fairly easy, nice little hike. Ended up having lunch at the lake, trying to get some shelter from the large downed root ball of the tree at the lake. The winds were gusting to 60mph (according to King5 news that night) in the Cascades above North Bend. Figures. ;0) Might go back in the snow - looks like it would be a blast.
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Sarah MacGillivray 2 years, 2 months ago
Snow Lake
Ended at noon
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