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Woody trail is beautiful, leading to spectacular views of 3 falls, lower, middle (wow!) and upper. There are also panoramic views of the Olympics and Seattle to be enjoyed on a clear day, should you choose to add a huge loop to your falls hikes, and head toward Wallace Lake. Record high, clear day in winter and the parking lot was packed, trail busy, but still lots of quiet spots. Dogs had a great time and other owners were conscientious. Really well maintained and signed trails and great facilities at the parking area.

hiking
2 days ago

Weather on the trail was perfect, no need for poles or yaktracks. The trail is super wore down and good for a person looking for a stroll or a family. The upper falls is worth the extra ~1 mi to the top. Also we started our hike at 8:30am and was completely alone most of the time, trail didn't start to get heavy with people until around 10:00.

on Snow Lake Trail

hiking
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.

hiking
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.

We went yesterday and it was absolutely beautiful!! The road was still closed to drive to the trailhead so it ends up being about 7-8 miles total (About 2.5 miles to trail head) but SO worth it!! The entire hike is full of views on every side. Everyone was fine in hiking boots. Highly recommend!!

hiking
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

Doing this hike again, after 5 years. This time we are doing it with Daughter, our 8mth old puppy and more friends. Going Saturday January 12th 2019. This will be the 3rd hike of the new year.☺

They were literally closing the road when we arrived yesterday, this makes it around 7 miles total. We arrived about 1:00, it was a Monday and were only the second tracks up. We wore WP Keen hiking shoes, I wore little running gators and stayed dry. Snow got to about 12” where the group before us turned around. Gorgeous day.

hiking
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.

hiking
10 days ago

The cave was stunning with lots of snow today. Went there around 11AM today. The small parking lot was half full. Road condition was good, just some icy patches in the parking lot. 50% of the trail was icy, luckily we brought ice cleats. However, we saw many people are fine with just hiking boots.

hiking
10 days ago

Very nice hike. Beautiful waterfall. The road is VERY bumpy, not recommended for small cars. Waterproof shoes are a must! Lots of down tress towards the end but if you're up for it you can get around them.

I’ve hiked to the ice caves twice so far and I love it every time. The hike is super easy — just be careful of snow during winter season, wear boots. And once you get to the ice caves they’re absolutely breathtaking.

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.

Such a gorgeous trail all through. One can hear the sound of river pretty much from the entire trail. the views of water gushing on the rocks and the waterfalls are to unbelievable! Middle falls are the most pretty but lower falls are quite a beauty too. Upper falls has a much steeper climb but not the views as impressive as middle or lower. Also if you go to upper falls, the total trail length is 5.5 miles. I think the 4.4 miles mentioned in the description is only till middle falls. But Valley overlook point is beautiful, after middle falls and before upper. The trail condition is very good. Various bridges, stairs and paved paths all through the trail. Hiking poles were such a savior. the climb is steep on this trail, so if you can take the poles, please do!

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike on a beautiful and maintained trail. Being that it was New Year’s Day and free day at state parks we were still lucky enough to find parking.

We had some sunshine and a bit of blue skies. We saw a lot of cool fungus.

Hiked with our two kiddos, ages 5 and 7. The ranger station has a fun scavenger hunt to complete.

hiking
14 days ago

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

hiking
15 days ago

This is a beautiful hike. Avoid the crowds and go on a weekday.

hiking
16 days ago

Visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPR3FnXSfgk or https://www.YouTube.com/TheUpperLeftUSA to see a video from the trail.

This was my first opportunity to hike this trail and I have to say that I enjoyed it quite a bit. This is one of those trails that offers a lot in a short amount of distance. It just seemed like there were views around every couple of corners.

For those who are interested in doing the hike, going early is a definite recommendation. I arrived at the trailhead at 8 am and there were about 20 cars in the parking lot. As I hiked, I saw many people and by the time that I was finished, a good portion of the parking lot was filled. I did this hike on New Year's Eve, which is something that not as many people are going to do. I can only imagine that on a nice summer day, parking is going to be taken up fast. There is no parking on the side of the road on the way to the trailhead so you'll have to find parking elsewhere in the surrounding residential area.

On this day, I only hiked to lower falls so take that into consideration as you read this report. That being said, the hike to lower falls is relatively easy. A more experienced hiker or someone with good cardiovascular endurance would have little problem. I would like to note that there was a little girl less than 5 years old that I saw throughout the trail walking on her own. That kind of tells you about the difficulty of this hike. To me, it seemed like there was not a lot of elevation gain. More so smaller patches of incline climbs rather than a constant climb.

Conditions on this particular day were great. It had been raining consistently for the past couple of weeks and this was an unusually good weather day. I was layered up pretty well and stayed warm throughout the hike but my hiking partner did complain about being cold and losing sensation when not in motion. Keep that in mind as you plan your trip! Another thing that would be helpful is to bring a waterproof layer because there were a lot of water droplets falling from the trees even on a nice sunny day. If you're going on a wet day, bring waterproof gear for sure.

Overall, this is definitely a recommended hike. There is a lot of reward for the amount of effort put in, even if you don't do the entire hike.

If you'd like to see more coverage of various hikes around Washington and the rest of the world, consider checking out my work whether it's through YouTube or my various other social media outlets!

Hải Hoàng Trần
Photographer | Videographer
TheUpperLeftUSA.com
Instagram.com/TheUpperLeftUSA
YouTube.com/TheUpperLeftUSA

Beautiful trail with plenty of water features. Be prepared to balance hopping rocks if you don’t have water resistant shoes this time of year. The road on the way up is riddled with potholes for about 15-20 minutes but well worth it once you get there. Lightly trafficked on a Sunday. We saw maybe 6 other groups of people.

hiking
16 days ago

HEATED bathrooms!! The amenities here are fabulous. The parking lot is large, and they have volunteers present. You need a discovery pass to park. The trail was well marked and well maintained. If you use poles, take them! I thought since this was an easier hike compared to the last few, that I didn't need mine. The last mile.....whew! I could have used them!

snowshoeing
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!

Discovery Pass Required (or $10 for the day to park). Discovery Pass is available to purchase at the visitor booth at the entrance to the trail ($30). The trail is gorgeous! Well maintained. There is a small trail loop that includes a bunch of stories about a native tree. The scenery along the hike is beautiful. The hike itself is moderate, the first 2 miles is fairly easy however the last 0.75 miles can be tricky, especially when it’s raining. The falls are breathtaking as well as the view of the valley. Only 1-1.5hrs from Seattle, I highly recommend it!

We went 2 days ago and the snow was falling the entire time we were there. Absolutely BEAUTIFUL views and once we hit the top we built a snowman and had a snowball fight. Saw a small size avalanche which made the hikers who went to the actual opening (which is caved in halfway due to a larger avalanche) of the caves put a little jump in their step. Even their dog took off. Heading down the path there was several people heading up with sleds. We have been spring, summer and winter and Winter is by far our favorite. Just a FYI the bathrooms at the trail head are closed for the season but they had a sign posted to use the bathroom at the picnic area. The trail up to the caves are easy to see but slick in a few spots. The Road on mountain loop was snow covered once you hit snow elevation but they were manageable. The parking lot is not plowed. Happy hiking and stay safe

hiking
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!

hiking
17 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.

Waterfall was nice ....

Completed 11-19
Hardest hike I’ve done yet, but the lake was incredible. We tried to do Aasgard but ended up going up the glacier.

hiking
18 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.

Backpacked this on November 7th, 2018.. And wow. This was my second time on the lake, but the first in the winter months! It was amazing. There was an average depth of six inches of snow at the time it seemed. We attempted Aasgard Pass but were conquered by it, as conditions got a little too hairy and technical for us.

For more information on this hike and trail, check out the video I made on YouTube: https://youtu.be/5viPNT-bk7A

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment! Subscribe to the channel if you’d like as well. This video should give you a great idea of the hike up to Colchuck Lake.

hiking
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

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