Monday, September 19, 2011

Hike to Snow Lake

My friend Joanna is quite active!  She's an avid hiker, something I wish I could interest my family in.  We live in the Pacific Northwest where outdoor activities are plentiful, but we don't really take advantage of the opportunities available.  Joanna, on the other hand, spends a lot of time taking advantage of all the Northwest has to offer.  She hikes with friends usually at least once a week and I'm super jealous!  Since I had a few extra days in Seattle planned after the 10K race on Sunday, I asked her to take me hiking at least once. 

She decided to take me on her favorite hike to Snow Lake and it did not disappoint.  What a beautiful day we had!  This hike was about six and half miles round trip.  According to my Garmin the elevation gain on the way up was about 1,970 feet and I have no idea if that is a lot in just over three miles or not.  All I know is it took us just over three and half hours to make the trek up and back, not including our stop for lunch, and I felt so accomplished when we were done.  I was actually sore for a few days after this hike, too, my calves and quads took a beating!  An awesome beating.

The trailhead can be found directly across from the ski lodge on Snowqualmie Pass at the Alpental ski area.  I found the following information about the snow lake hike on the Washington Trails website:

If there's such a thing as a wilderness superhighway, this is it. The Snow Lake Trail is Washington's most heavily used trail within a designated wilderness area. On any given summer weekend, you can expect to share the area with upward of two hundred hikers. Fortunately, midweek the route is virtually deserted, and after Labor Day the number of weekend hikers drops to more reasonable levels. Why is it so popular? It's a combination of easy-to-access wilderness trail and a route to one of the most picturesque lakes in the water-rich Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Snow Lake is surrounded by high granite peaks and is visited by deer, mountain goats, and a host of small critters and birds. What's more, the lakeshores are lined with wildflowers in early summer and juicy huckleberries later in the year. All in all, the crowds are justified--few places that are so easy to reach offer such a stunning wilderness experience.

Here are some of the gorgeous views from the day.


  1. Those photos are amazing. I have always wanted to take a trip to the northwest but now i see its a must

  2. We go to the Colorado mountains as much as we can (maybe once or twice a year if possible)...but it's as good 8-10 hour drive so it doesn't happen nearly enough. I LOVE hiking in them, it's so beautiful!!!!!!

  3. Wow that looked like a great hike...very scenic!