Explore Alpine Lakes Wilderness - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Alpine Lakes Wilderness Map
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hiking
8 minutes ago

Great hike, not too hard but a decent workout. Some snow and ice at the top once near Snow Lake right now, if you have crampons on poles it’s not a big deal. The scenery was great, temperature wasn’t too cold, and not overly busy, worth the time.

Wow!! That will be the reaction of 99.99% of people who do this hike, the other .01% are most likely crazy people. The magical, towering mountains around this mountain lake are simply breathtaking. It was a cold day with ice and a little snow in the higher elevations of the trail. The lake isn’t frozen over yet and the water still shows the bright blue color it’s known for. We clicked it at 8 miles round trip. Took us about 3 hrs up and 2 hrs back down. There is a few spots with fallen trees that you will need to go over or under. But overall the trail is very well maintained and easy to navigate.

the scenery is gorgeous, the air smells like christmas candles as you climb. First 3/4 of the trail are easy slow climb, after that it turns into more intense switchbacks. Very snowy and slippery at the top, so wear appropriate footwear. If you have removable krampons or hiking poles I would suggest those for the top portion as I saw lots of people fall and almost fell myself a number of times. I even saw a lady with a sprained ankle being carried down by her husband. Bring lots of layers so that you can take off as you ascend and then put back on as you descend. This time of year when we got to the top at 2:10 the sun was already set on the lake so get an early start, aim to be at the top for noon. Amazing view, so worth it!

Winter wonderland! Don’t forget your spikes for the last half of the trail.

hiking
3 days ago

Really beautiful hike around this time of the year, this hike offers some of the best views Washington trails has to offer. The lake is starting to freeze up and theres lots of snow and black ice once you start getting to higher elevations so be cautious! I would say this trail falls more on the moderate side than hard, it took us 3 hours to get to the top and 2 hours going back down. Would recommend this hike for everyone!

Winter wonderland! Over a foot of snow everywhere! Make sure you bring micro-spikes and hiking poles. Some spots get very slippery. The most beautiful wonder hike I have done so far. (Oh and wear waterproof shoes)

The only reason I am taking a star off is the lack of signs this trail has. Towards the end my friend and I took a major detour because there were fallen trees and the trail was hidden with snow. We found the lake though! So worth the hike we did it round trip in 4 hours and a half. Very icy towards the end so be careful.

completed 8/15. Longer and harder than you would expect. pretty when you get there, but I don't know why anyone would do this hike unless they are going to the core enchantments, which is where the real magic is. gave it 4 stars because it was the perfect base camp.

hiking
11 days ago

My friend and I, who I'd classify as novice hikers, were able to complete this hike in 7 hours. It took us 4.5 hours up and 2.5 hours down.

We went on Nov. 2nd the conditions were muddy at most. No ice on the trail that we experienced.

There are some seriously beautiful viewpoints on the way up and was well worth it at the end. Unfortunately it was cloudy and rainy so we hope to go back again in the summer to see it all again.

We persevered but I wouldn't recommend this to someone who is totally inexperienced. It was very hard for us. However, a great hike for any seasoned hiker.

In addition, we both recorded approximately 10 miles, not the the listed 7.7 miles.

hiking
12 days ago

Unfortunately there was too much water to cross one of the waterfalls that had developed due to the rain lately. We were one of four groups that doubled back. Seems like it would be beautiful based on the first 30 minutes though!

hiking
12 days ago

This is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in my life! The trail is tough but not as hard as some other hikes I’ve done. The views at the top are absolutely worth it, take a day trip and go here. You won’t be disappointed! Also, lots of Chipmunks!

hiking
14 days ago

Hiked this trail for the 2nd time yesterday. And as always it was awesome. Trail was dry, had mud in spots but nothing to worry about. Brought a fishing pole up and managed to catch a few rainbow trout. All in all it was a great hike, ass kicker for sure. But worth every bit of it!

Gorgeous views, especially on a clear fall day. It was pretty crowded on the trail, but we did go on a Sunday. Get there early if you can, the views are worth it! The lake is clear and worth the hike.

hiking
15 days ago

Beautiful views! Totally worth the hike up☺️

Hiked up today, there was a fair amount of snow & ice on the trail, but still manageable without any equipment or microspikes. Beautiful views ! I’d read peoples recommendations about high clearance vehicles but I drove to the trailhead just fine in a regular car, so don’t let that deter you.

Seemed further than the 7 miles listed. Hiked the trail 10/29/18 very went and muddy with quite a bit of snow and ice halfway up. Views were well worth the pain in the butt.

hiking
17 days ago

The fall colors were beautiful! May have waited too long as far as the weather goes, we were soaking wet and then coated with snow towards the top, made for a very cold day. Can’t wait to go back next Spring or Summer to see the changes.
Followed the advice of precious reviews and wore boots with good traction, very grateful we did.

hiking
18 days ago

Beautiful hike! Took about two hours. Great trail, some of the rocks can be a little loose or slippery tho so watch your step. The view at the top is beautiful and totally worth it! If going on a weekend, get there super early. Very popular trail. We got there at 8:30am and had no trouble parking but when we got back to the car later that afternoon, it was hard to get out of the parking lot. Absolutely packed and so was overflow parking.

To hike uphill almost 1400m and all the way back down requires a good effort of your knees. It took me about 9h30m to do the whole trek in and out (including some stops for pictures and snacks). The time could have been closer to 9hs if my wife hadn't hurt her knees on three way down. This might be redundant, but keep track of your water, energy and legs. There's a few places that allows you to refill your water along the trail. The landscape is wonderful and the arrival at both lakes is revigorating. Go for it with lots of energy and don't give up on the switchback. Just go on without hurry.

20 days ago

Beautiful!

hiking
20 days ago

Amazing views!

I did this hike last summer and even got to swim in the lake. This is a must do trail. I can only imagine how spectacular the thru hike is if you’re one of the lucky ones to win the lottery.

hiking
25 days ago

did this hike last week with a bunch of friends and it was so nice! definitely a moderate hike and it was sort of icy and slippery on the rocks on the way down/up to the lake so please be careful and if you have hiking poles, bring them!

hiking
25 days ago

Great hike. Good pace to the hike with first 2 miles slow incline and then increases the last mile or so. Snow lake is beautiful. It was quite windy at the lake yesterday. I did the extra hike and checked out Gem lake. It was about 11.5 miles round trip, did it about 4 hrs 30 min. Quite rocky in a few spots, including traversing rubble fields. This would likely be harder for a dog, but was fine otherwise.

hiking
25 days ago

Difficult but worth it in the summer time. We took many tests going up but jogged going down.

on Snow Lake Trail

25 days ago

Love this hike! And I do highly recommend wearing hiking boots/shoes as the trail was pretty rocky. I wore my nikes and I could still feel the rocks through the soles of my shoes.

hiking
26 days ago

Amazing views all along the hike! The drive there has amazing views on golden larches too. The last part of the road has some potholes - I recommend having a high clearance vehicle.
I would say the hike is more moderate than difficult compared to other difficult hikes.

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful lake, it’s much more enjoyable than Snow Lake. There is a huge drop off in people on the trail after you pass Snow Lake. Trail is very well maintained.

Beautiful and easy to get done in under 3 hours. Lots of rocks. Plenty of trees. Much chinchillas? I don’t know what they were. I put my feet in the lake and it was cold. The rocks hurt.

hiking
26 days ago

I’m not an expert hiker. This hike was challenging and so worth it. Took us under 4 hours there and back with some breaks. Beautiful hike, will do again. Get there as early as you can and where good hiking boots. The trail has some pretty rocky parts.

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