Summary: This trail is one of the most heavily used in the Northwest, and for good reason! It has beautiful scenery, and great views of the Snoqualmie Valley. Once you arrive at the top of the ridge, you hike down into a bowl, with Snow Lake, awaiting, as your reward. This is one of the largest lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. Bring a bathing suit for later in the summer.
The first 2 miles are direct, and the final has rock blasted switchbacks to the top of the ridge. Pay attention to signs, because you need to branch right off the trail about 2 miles in. Enjoy the hike.
Trailhead: From Seattle, take I-90 East to Snoqualmie Pass. Get off on exit 53 and turn left. Follow the road until it ends at the Alpental Parking Lot. Parking is $5, or free with a Northwest Parks Pass (Available at REI). Proceed up the road past the gate approximately 100 feet. On your right, is a clearly marked trailhead. (Lat:47.44532 Lon:-121.4235)
Trail Guides for Snow Lake:
Best Hikes With Children
by Joan Burton (The Mountaineers)
100 Classic Hikes in Washington
by Ira Spring (The Mountaineers)
Best Seasons: Fall, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs,
Ranger Contact: Snoqualmie Ranger District- (425) 888-1421
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Patrick Harlin, who has posted 1 other hike on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 5 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Cindy on 6/6/2011
Please note that the directions to the trailhead are wrong. It is I-90 exit 52 not exit 53. We get dozens of drivers every day looking for the Snow Lake trailhead on Yellowstone Rd. and have to tell them to go back over the Summit to the base of Alpental ski area where the trail starts. Please be sure to bring warm clothes and good boots and be prepared to hike on snow. The lake is still frozen and there will be snow on the trail until July this year.
Reviewed by CoCo on 8/29/2010
It's a nice hiking trail for dogs. My short legged 7 years old beagle made it to the lake. She really enjoyed it. The lake and surrounding are beautiful.
Reviewed by Aaron on 8/14/2010
I'm sorry but I had to comment on Katina's review below... It's called Snow Lake. I imagine it received that name for a reason. To make this post worthwhile, came here a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoyed myself! I'm not sure I'd be interested in swimming in the lake, even this late in the summer as it is still pretty darn cold!
Reviewed by Christine on 8/2/2010
Nice hike, but not good for dogs inclined to pad damage, as there is a lot of sharp shale for most of the trek. Both of our whippets came back with torn, bloody pads. Our fault for continuing on such terrain!
Reviewed by jar on 7/18/2010
Awesome day hike! Dog friendly is a plus. We followed the suggestions to start early and that was a good idea. This is 20 additional exits from North Bend, so don't use "close to North Bend" as a reference point. Wear layers as the switchbacks are in the open sun and view point over Snow Lake is in the shade and windy. Bring lots of water and food for refueling.. Great scenery, waterfalls, views. We will definitely do this hike again. Buy your parking pass before you go or at exit #52 then follow signs to Alpental...posted directions using exit #53 were confusing. Have fun!
Reviewed by Steve on 7/8/2010
July 8th, 2010. Trail mostly free of snow until you start decent to snow lake. We made it down to lake and hiked around. Snow lake is still frozen over and ground is well covered with snow. I Don't recomend decending to the lake yet unless you know where you are going and have experience hiking in deep snow. The decent is steep and snow covered. We found a couple of dry patches of ground and rock to rest and have lunch... But make sure you leave plenty of time to hike back up to the saddle before the snow hardens and makes traction more difficult. Be careful!!
Reviewed by Lyndit on 6/28/2010
Hiked yesterday (June 27th 2010) and the trail was fantastic. Hardly feel the distance as there are so many waterfalls and great scenery. Once you reach the lake it is breathe taking with plenty of places to sit and enjoy lunch. We went early in the morning and had the trail mostly to ourselves, around 11 the trail was packed with a lot of groups. Good trail for dogs, we brought three and they did very well. Plenty of streams for them to drink and cool their feet. There was snow in places but even with running shoes we did fine. Highly recommend this hike
Reviewed by CAU on 5/16/2010
Hiked yesterday. Snow on 95% of the trail. Snow was compacted by previous hikers so not too bad the first two miles. Beautiful views. Turned around before lake because snow became too soft and footing was difficult. Not a good hike for kids right now. Correct directions are in the comment above.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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