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60-90 mins Map

on Snow Lake Trail

3 days ago

I hiked on Friday. This was my first time doing a snow hiking so it’s little bit difficult for me. Just made 2/3 of the trail because the snow was deeper in the last 1/3 and the trail was so narrow. I def. hike again with a better preparation to complete the trail. The scenery was very beautiful tho.

3 days ago

Hiked as far as we could today- a recent avvy slide completely demolished the rest of the trail right before reaching the lake. Multiple hikers that got there before us said they tried going around it right, then left, and ultimately couldn’t make it to the lake. Some of them had GPS and still didn’t make it to the lake.
Otherwise a beautiful hike! There was a decent amount of snow, although we didn’t need snowshoes. We just had microspikes and we were absolutely fine. The snow on the trail was decently padded down when we went and it was warm enough that there was no ice- the microspikes just gave us good grip on compact snow.
Didn’t see any extreme signs of imminent avvy danger, besides the recent slide that ended up stopping our hike early. There is water running through the trail area and one stream was noticeably running underneath a small snowfield, but it wasn’t too steep of a grade and didn’t concern me.

Climbed this one in the winter. Definitely need a 4x4 and snow chains to make it to the TH. Recommended to have knowledge of avalanche safety for the winter route, as there are 3-4 hazardous areas of crossing. Overall, a fair bank for your buck.

3 days ago

A good day hike, clear skies.

Several large trees cover the trail, some are tricky to get by.

As you go up the valley towards the glacier, there is snow on the ground, not enough to need spikes or snowshoes. Poles are needed as you get closer to the glacier.

4 days ago

Went up today! Beautiful hike. With snow plows, needed to jump up to trail head. Hiked with spikes for 1.75 miles then lost trail. You could see the divots but didn’t bring snowshoes so decided to turn back. Saw a few hikers, snowshoers & cross country skiers. Maybe they good blaze the trail. A few slides in open fields. Fun streams to cross

Nice short hike to get out into nature. Every skill level can enjoy this trail (my wife is 8 months pregnant and had no problem). Beautiful river and waterfalls!

9 days ago

Took us 2 hours up, 1.5hr down. The whole trail has snow on it, but the first half of the trail was packed down snow. We had spikes on the whole time, but snow shoes would be good for the last half of the trail since we started blazing the trail. There was only one area that was a difficult to get up. Definitely need poles! There was one other group in front of us making a trail since you can't see it eventually. Once we started hiking down we saw a lot more groups hiking up.

Trail was a bit hard to follow at first given the number of tracks going all over the place, but I just followed the map for the first bit and it became clearer as I got higher. Not too strenuous, but spectacular views from the top, even on a cloudy day.

Love hiking in the winter as a rainy day or break alt from skiing. Multiple stream crossings are my son’s (5) favorite. Watch out for streams filling up. Need grippy shoes (we turned the hike back into a slip and slide due to my son’s Bogs). We only have done the first mile. Definitely coming back in the summer for some backpacking.

mountain biking
14 days ago

Awesome January MTB. Dry, sunny, and not overcrowded. Easy access. Def will be back

14 days ago

It is beautiful for sure for a bit too crowded for my liking.

A perfect day to start off the New Year 2019, gorgeous views, perfect day to hike...conditions were awesome.

Amazing snowshoe yesterday! Trail was easy to follow excellent views the whole time!

16 days ago

Snow lake did not disappoint. I made it to the top of the lake and didn’t press my luck traversing down to the actual lake. Gorgeous scenery. Tons of snow. A bit wet. But nothing too bad!

17 days ago

Did the hike today but only made it about one third or half way due to rain and the trail being washed out a bit. With the rain we thought it was better to be safe so we turned back about halfway. We didn't use snow shoes but we used crampons. Snow shoes are not necessary due to compact snow but if you don't have crampons I would suggest snowshoes. We actually saw a group of 3 guys not dressed for the trail and one of them had on cowboy boots!! The views were beautiful. Next time we plan to get to Snow Lake!

18 days ago

Went up this morning with high hopes. Trailhead was a little hidden (it’s between the 2 upper parking lots at Alpental and requires a little climb up a snow bank from the snow plows). Brought spikes and snow shoes and used both. Some sections were a bit narrow for shoes though. Spikes would have sufficed for most of the way up. The trail was easy to follow and walk on with packed snow though some sections were soft and did some postholing in spikes.
Unfortunately, once the trail spilts and the switch backs starts, most of the trail was washed out but small slides and avalanches. Going the other direction towards the rim had the same result. I wasn’t comfortable blazing a new route on my own given the rainy weather and the threat of more slides. Disappointed I got as close as 3/4 mi from the lake but it was still a fun hike. Still clocked in 5 1/2 miles RT.
*I used GAIA to make sure I stayed on the trail in the washes out areas but it got a bit too deep for me and my dog.

19 days ago

Only went about one-third of the way because the family pooped out, but still beautiful and not too much traffic. We brought snowshoes but didn't need them because the snow was already hard-packed from other hikers.

19 days ago

Lots of snow, trail gets a little harder near the switch backs. Bring gloves and a beanie, and poles would help. waterproof gear. Trail is narrow, I wouldn’t wear snow shoes

20 days ago

I completed this hike in late October and it was beautiful! We started a little too late in the day and ended up being still on the trail at nightfall. It was a little chilly after dark but overall the temperatures were comfortable. It was a little too foggy to see the lake completely but the views were definitely still worth it. The trail gets narrow and rocky (and wet!) in several spots so I wouldn't recommend this hike for young children. The full loop is actually 7.2 miles. Great hike!

we did this overnight 12/19/18. we got up about a mile before we had to put on snowshoes as it was clear no one has use the trail in a while. the trail is only fairly marked but even with the snow it was fairly easy to follow. hopefully we made it easier for people to follow after we trailblazed it lol. other than that beautiful hike!

This may be my favorite trail in ONP thus far. There is just so much to see....I have done both the Switchback trail and hiked across to Klahane from the Hurricane Ridge Viisitor's Center because switchback was closed. I have to say the former was much preferred. Though more challenging grade-wise, the Switchback trail takes half of the time. I also encountered more widlife; including a substantial herd of goats and their kids going this route. In the summer, the flowers and meadows will take your breath away on the way up. I kept stopping to take in the views! You see the Olympics, Baker, Rainier, down below to Port Angeles and the water....simply incredible. Feeding the whiskey jacks is always fun, as is running the ridgeline. I have never descended completely to the lake, others have warned that unless you plan on camping or start very early not to attempt it.
I have never had too much of an issue with bugs here. Goats were not aggressive, but very aware of our presence and wary. They were lying right on the trail. My last trip up (October 2018): Switchback trail closed, new signage warning of cougar sightings at the top. Socked in by fog with no views. Love love love this area.

23 days ago

We did this hike on 12/22 and started at around 10:30 AM. The lower gate was open but the second gate was closed. We were the only car parked at the second gate and could tell from the foot prints that there were only two other people in front of us going up the road. The snow starts on the road about mid way between the first and second gate and covers the ground all the way up to the top.

The hike itself is great. Fresh deep powder all the way up. Beautiful scenes the entire way. It is cold though you will need good winter/snow gear.

When we arrived at the top we found the tower was boarded up and closed. There was a small opening at the bottom of the door so we crawled in and found the other two people that had went up that day. They told us that earlier in the morning the lower gate had been closed as well so they had to make the climb from the Heather Lake parking area.

The top was beautiful but very windy and quite cold so be prepared.

24 days ago

trail is quite narrow for snowshoes ended up taking them off and just wearing yaktrax. beautiful views but definitly pay attention. we totally missed the fork for snow lake.

28 days ago

This is my favorite hike of all time. It is so pretty! great views of the mountains. A lot of different wild flowers, mushrooms and landscapes. Once you get to the lake, it takes your breath away. ** I completed this hike in early fall.


This is a great trail with spectacular views at the top, unfortunately though, and apparently like several other trails on Mountain Loop Highway, trailhead security is poor. Had a great hike in the snow on Mount Dickerman Saturday Dec. 15, marred by discovering car had been broken into. Back window smashed, all bags and gear stolen from back storage area of car. Best guess is it happened around 3 p.m. I’ve heard about this happening at other trailheads on Mountain Loop Highway. The trails in the area are great, unfortunately safety at the trailheads is lacking.

30 days ago

Got to the TH at about 10am, only one other car. A few puddles on the trail, nothing that will get you wet or muddy. Counted at least 4 waterfalls. Very nice winter hike!

1 month ago


Totally “socked-in” on Saturday December 8th. This hike is no joke! Killer on the knees. We only needed microspikes and poles starting around the 2.5 mile mark, however with the predicted snow this week, this would easily become a very difficult snow shoe. Avalanche danger is high here, so be sure to check that avy stats before you go or come prepared with adequate training.


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