Snow Lake (Snoqualmie)

This is a fun hike, really. It’s steep-ish and short. It’s also right at the base of Alpental Ski Area at Snoqualmie Pass. So it’s short, has a lake destination, and ample parking without travelling miles of forest service roads. It’s busy, naturally. Yet Snow Lake is one of the bigger lakes off I-90 and a great destination. When ready for a heartier challenge, or tired of “flat” hikes, this is a good one.

The Trail

Being well-travelled, the trail is in great condition. Depending upon the time of the year, there might be snow on the backside of the trail, going down to the lake. Oh, it’s one of those trails. Uphill both ways.

Initially, it’s a simple walk through the woods. Then there’s a Y-intersection, and the trail splits to either Snow Lake or Source Lake. The Snow Lake trail just goes up. I don’t recall much downhill (until the drop to the lake). But it’s not real steep, and the trail is excellent. At the top of the trail you get great views. Going down to the lake is pretty awesome, as it’s pretty open and the lake is visible.

Approaching the lake, there is a remnant of a home. The chimney and foundation are all that’s left of the structure. Arriving at the lake there are a few options. Stay at the end of the trail, or circle the shoreline to other vantages. Snow Lake is part of the trail system where hikes to other nearby lakes are possible. Lakes like Melakwa, Talapus, Pratt, etc., are all interconnected with the trails. There are always places to go around here.

Seeing the trail wrap around on the very steep sides of the mountain dissuaded us. After all, the lake was partially frozen when we hiked. Slipping and falling wasn’t on our agenda, so we decided to rest at the area around the trail.

After a snack, rest, and pictures, it’s time to go. The good news is the way up might be steep, but it’s relatively short. Then it’s downhill, with multiple stops for hikers coming up, or trail runners going down.


Shoes: The North Face Ultra 109
Pack: Osprey Talon 22
Trekking Poles: Didn’t need them, but I think they could help.
Water: 2L should be enough, unless it’s a real hot day.

Life finds a way...
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