Rachel and Rampart Lakes Trail is a 8.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cle Elum, WA that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
From Seattle, E on I-90 to exit 62. Left onto Kachess Lake Rd for 5.5 miles. Right on FSR 4930 for 3.5 miles to trailhead at end of road.
Beautiful! Basically the whole trail is super pretty and there are many incredible views! If you go up to Rampart Lakes I'd suggest you bring a map - lots of places to adventure around and get lost if you're not paying attention.
I got to the trail head around 8:30 am on Saturday morning parking lot was full. Started hike at 8:45am, first 3 miles are easy and beautiful. This trail is totally natural you will pass through a lot of wild flower fields and rocky trail. Last mile is really steep-hill, it's hard but worth it.
I got there around 10:50am, it was really nice and beautiful. I rested at Rachel lake then went to see Rampart Lakes, took me around 45 minutes it was steep hike but worth it. There were around 8 gorgeous lakes. The view was awesome, water of lakes was clear and people were fishing and swimming in it. Took me 25 min to hike back to Rachel lake them 1:50 back to parking. Overall it was great hike according to my Fitbit it was total of around 12miles and 27999 steps (I went up to rampart lakes). I would highly recommend to hike up to Rampart lakes, best thing. It's only 1.5 from Rachel lake 1 miles is steep hill and .5 is plain.
Things to remember: Northwest forest pass required or 5$ day use fees.
1. Bug spray is must, bugs were annoying.(very important)
2. A lot of water and snacks( I took 4 litter and it wasn't enough).
3. Hiking shoes or waterproof shoes (trail can be slippery and you have to pass few small canals).
4. First 2.5-3 miles of hike is really easy and last mile or 1 1/2 is steep hill but doable.
5. Try to go early because parking was packed at 8:30 am or go on weekdays.
6. Go to Rampart lakes it's only mile or 1.5 miles more but it's beautiful (7-8 small lakes and all are beautiful).
7. People were swimming and tubing there really nice place to bring floaty.
Prior to trail head 3 miles of drive is rocky road and big potholes be careful on that road, it's terrible road.
Take a lot of water with you and enjoy this beautiful hike.
Best of luck !!!
Hiked:August 20, 2016
First half was pretty easy going. Not too busy going up on a Sunday morning, but lots of people coming down. Quite steep for the second half to Rachel Lake. We stopped at Rachel Lakes and had lunch for a few minutes. A few brave souls were swimming, and there appeared to be some nice camping spots off to the left. Had read a few reviews about bugs, so we put on our bug repellent bracelets (genius) and headed up the trail to Rampart. Very steep, especially for two rusty backpackers, but took it at a leisurely pace and was fine. Enjoyed beautiful views looking back down to Rachel Lake.
We did not pick up a trail map but sure wish we had! There are tons of trails up on the ridge, and even though we had read through the hike descriptions many times, we still went down a few trails that led to dried up lakes. Meandered around a bit and found the bigger lakes. Found a perfect jetty between two lakes and had the place to ourselves. Mosquitos weren't too bad (2 bites on me, 6 on hubby)but the wind overnight was fierce! Like, pull the tent fly off fierce.
In the morning, we were kicking ourselves again for not having a map. Added about a mile following smaller trails to get us back to the main trail down. Round trip was 11 miles, including probably 1.5 miles of following trails up at Rampart. Was a beautiful trail and amazing views along the way.
Hike from hell. This is an extremely strenuous hike. Keep in mind that you are basically climbing a mountain to get to the lake so if you are not prepared to do that, don't. The lake is nice but definitely not a worthwhile payoff for the torture you will endure to get there. My advice: go to Lake 22, more enjoyable hike and more beautiful lake.
My 16 year old son and I hikes this yesterday. We had a total blast! On the gravel road to the TH, we passed an incredible waterfall. (There is a porta potty in the pull off area). We were hoping to find out the name & if it was ok to cliff jump. So gorgeous!
Clean bathroom at TH parking lot.
This hike has so much diversity - we loved all of the little rivers to go over, so many waterfalls, different types of woods, meadows, towering mountainsides, a frog at the lake, song birds, several chipmunks, wild flowers, etc. Truly incredible.
We left the TH at 10:45 and got to the lake at 1:30. We were not in a hurry & stopped quite a bit to admire the waterfalls. Loved to slow grade incline for the first 3 miles. We were surprised by how much fun the last steep mile was because of the diversity in the trail. I felt like I was 10 again & able to play in the woods by going over, under trees, walking through a little mud, bridges, narrow meadow trails, wild berries, water ways, climbing scenic rocks. It was just awesome.
We stayed at Rachel Lake for an hour (could have stayed all day!). Had lunch while soaking our feet in the water while gazing at pure beauty. Highly recommend this! Not only so refreshing, but we felt like we had new feet on the way down!
Headed down at 2:30 & got back to our car at 4:30.
Really appreciated my new trekking poles for the steep parts. Also, we applied bug spray 3 times and used those mosquito wrist bands. They left us alone :). Maybe 30 other people on the trail?
We are all so blessed to live in such a gorgeous part of creation!!
I did this hike with my 12 year old son and it is forsure difficult worth it but you need to have the right shoes on it can be slippery make sure your shoes have traction and wear bug repelant the bug at the lake were awful we had to cut our lake time short because we didnt have bug spray to protect us. The lake is stunning
Beautiful! So worth the hike!
A great hike with gorgeous views
I should have put this in the last post. I hiked here May 22.
Very nice! However my hike started about a mile and a half before the trail head due to some deep patches of snow on the road. Once on the trail about a half mile after you cross the first creek or stream, there is still lots of snow on the trail which made it difficult to navigate. I had to cut the hike short. I do plan on returning.
The last 5 miles of the road leading to the trailhead was closed.
Road was closed! We could not pass the last 2-3 miles of Kachees Lake Rd. This was the 10th of April.
The color of the water is like nothing I have seen around here. The trail was just as rated and had some harder foot placing.
Very nice hike that follows along the water. Once the uphill climb starts, it feels relentless. I had trouble keeping along the trail in some spots, as the path wasn't always as obvious, but I never ventured far from the trail. Great view point a ways in and the lake was gorgeous and clear.
10/03/2015 - Saturday/Sunday - After taking a day hike up here earlier in the year, I knew I had to come back for an overnighter. I came up mid-day Saturday and passed 56 people and 4 dogs returning to their cars. By the time evening came there were only a scattering of tents along Rachel Lake and Rampart Lakes. There are so many spots to camp that it didn't feel crowded at all. The stars were amazing Saturday night since the moon didn't rise until later in the evening. I was able to get some amazing star shots. There is still quite a bit of fall color up there, especially the higher you get. On Sunday I hiked up to Lake Lillian over the pass because I have been curious to know what the trail is like since it isn't even on the maps. There is definitely a trail and quite a lot of traffic on it from day hikers who wanted to reach Rampart Lakes without the pain of the Rachel Lakes Trail.
While I was gone, someone helped themselves to my GoPro and tripod out of my tent. I used to have faith in the decency of fellow-hikers, but that's now gone.
The hike is probably the toughest I've done with a full 45lb pack. It took me an hour to get to the creek crossing and another hour to reach Rampart Lakes. Returning took 30 minutes longer because of the roots & rocks going down.
I have a full review and photos on my blog at cairnguru.com
It shouldn't be classified as easy. More like moderate. Lots of water features on the way up. Definitely need good, comfortable shoes for the trail. And a good walking stick is always helpful. Stretch before starting. There is a moderate incline at the start.