This is a moderate one way trail in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Snow lake is a classic hike that has a good effort to reward ratio and is one of those hikes that has to be on your to do list. Easily accessible by a short car drive from the greater Seattle area, its a great hike that doesn't have to take all day. The trail is very engaging and treats you to a beautiful view of the lake and surround mountains.
Park at Alpental with a valid Northwest Forest Pass and walk across the street to the Snow Lake Trail head. There is a bathroom located across the street from the trailhead, near the Alpental parking lot.
From the trail head you will make your way through several meadows and avalanche paths, gradually ascending in elevation. The trail is very engaging and includes a few small stream crossings. As you continue the hike be careful not to miss the sign telling you to turn to snow lake (instead of source lake). After making this turn there will be a few switchbacks before you get to your first view of the lake. When you reach the ridge and can see the lake you can either stop here or continue down the trail to the lake below. In the summer, you can even find a few spots along the lake where you cliff jump - very fun but the water is very cold.
In addition, there are backpacking spots at both Snow Lake and Source Lake. Permits are required May 15 to October 31. Permits are free and available on a self-issue basis at the trailhead. For further information see the Forest Service website.
See the Washington Trails Association webpage here for more information.
Sights to See
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