Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Alpine Lakes Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

8 days ago

The best overnight backpacking trip so far, we can’t wait to go back!

snowshoeing
1 month ago

Went out with a partner, our first time using snow shoes.

First 2 miles were hard packed and easy to traverse. Broke trail for half a mile in. Easy to follow the alltrails route through the thick powder. Absolutely no trail markings. The views were spectacular.

Spectaular.

snowshoeing
3 months ago

Watch for the fork before you break into the clearing. Easy to miss the switch back. Trail non existent and covered by feet of snow. Turned back before reaching the lake.

snowshoeing
3 months ago

Went up to the lake yesterday and there was weather that came in for most the day, decreasing visibility. The trail was well marked until the fork and from there you may see a couple different paths people have decided to take. Keeping your GPS on the trail is helpful in order to keep on track. My friend and I scrambled up the side of a ridge and met back up at the trail, making it to the lake. We hadn't seen the switch back trail on the way up; we did find it on the way down. There are some sketchy areas and an ice pick and micro spikes were life savers.
Definitely a hike you'll want to take your time doing, bring the right gear, and give yourself 5-5 1/2 hours to finish.

snowshoeing
3 months ago

Trail was non existent after the fork. We turned back but was still a lot of fun.

Definitely need snowshoes on this hike. But, be careful of the creeks you have to cross. The snow gives way pretty easily. One portion was difficult to cross, where the creek was more of a waterfall. On the way back down, the creek had widened and we got a little wet trying to cross.

Was here 12/20 and snowshoes were definitely required. I did not make it to the lake as I was paving the trail sinking 2 feet deep with snowshoes and it just got too tiring. Made it to just before the switchbacks, could see decent views of surrounding mountains at that point. I'm sure views are even better if you reach the lake

hiking
4 months ago

It was a good hike to source lake. The trail is well compacted till that point. After that point the powder is soft and I was sinking to my waist every few steps. I decided to turn back and not risk it further. Bring snowshoes if you want to reach snow lake!

snowshoeing
4 months ago

Went to Snow Lake yesterday with a group. The trail was packed to where the switchbacks begin and could be hiked with gaiters easily. When the switchbacks started we put on our snowshoes and went up to the lake overlook. At the overlook the windchill was extreme and fog covered the lake. On the way down I took off my snowshoes as it was easier to hike down with yak-tracks on then the snowshoes. Definitely recommend it and I plan to do it again on a clearer day.

Trail is well packed on lower parts. Spikes necessary though. Upper parts a bit difficult without snowshoes, but can be done if you don’t mind sinking in every few steps.

4 months ago

Awesome time of year to do this trail, the trail was plowed

hiking
4 months ago

This trail is so beautiful. Best for snowshoeing but we went with gaiters and spikes and totally manageable. The trail is plowed but got to careful some of the sides of the trail is so soft with the powder snow and you might totally be immersed to hip level. But totally enjoyable hike !

hiking
4 months ago

Recommend snowshoes, map, & compass; you can find yourself waist deep in snow when stepping in a bad spot & trail starts to disappear on the way back after heavy snow fall.

great hike and beautiful views !!

beautiful place and views !!

Well I arrived at the parking lot around 10 and got on the trail around 10 30. Spikes can be used immediately, gators too. I made it up to the ridge in with spikes and gators. But going down to the lake I put on my snow shoes. I was the first to break a trail to the lake. Would be very difficult with out snow shoes. You are sinking past your waist. It was beautiful. Was foggy and rainy on the way down. I sat down had lunch and it cleared up. I was down there feeding the birds. That was a bonus. Breath taking moments. Highly recommend going all the way. Oh wait there was a little scramble down at the lake. Was difficult to locate the trail with all the snow. Heading back up to the ridge was a butt kicker. The view was clear the whole way back with big snow flakes. This was a great hike!

Did the trail on Nov 16th, those who are going all the way to the lake should considering snowshoes for sure. Made it all the way to the ridge today in snowshoes . Met a group of hikers stuck in 3-4 ft snow a midway up without snowshoes

5 months ago

There was a lot of snow and it got dark really quick.
I wasnt able to see lake due to fogs

trail running
5 months ago

There wasn't a lot of people there but more than I expected in November. I probably encountered maybe 20 people and 4 unleashed dogs. I only encountered one person at Snow Lake.
I intended to hike a difficult trail but I ended up on this route.

bueatiful lake

amazing hike. worth the trip to the bottom but the ice can be slick so watch your footing

5 months ago

Great, rocky hike! I went on Tuesday and arrived at 11:30. My dog and I made our way up to snow lake alright (dog + scrambles = struggle) but had a tough time on the descent towards the lake: beware of ice. Thank you to whomever did that!

We got to gem lake by around 2:30. Wasn't super impressed and if you're tired at snow lake, I would recommend just turning back. If you want a nice challenge definitely do the extra mile! I honestly would not have found just the hike to snow lake challenging, but the hike to gem lake was beautiful, confusing at times, and pretty challenging at the tail end! We got back to the car by 4:30 for a total of 5 hours. I took breaks infrequently and did not take long at either lake, but I was slowed down by my dog on the way back due to all the rocks.

Pretty good trail, was raining when we went (late Sept) so we couldn’t see Snow Lake! A bit rocky at times.

hiking
5 months ago

This hike was nice with the exception of the crowds. I tend to avoid hiking along I 90 due to these crowds but its been a long time since I have done this hike. I dont think I ever went all the way to Gem Lake though. I dont think the hike is hard as they say as it feed constant with the elevation gain. There were way too many people for a late October weekend even if it was sunny. I would really hate to be here in the summer. With all the people it was very time consuming returning to the car. The trail was good with only a few patches of ice today. Great hike for families, newbies and apparently those in sneakers. I wouldnt return due to the crowds as there are so many other places to go. Its worth the trip if you can avoid the crowds. Dont be a weenie and only go to Snow Lake, continue on to Gem Lake as its the best of the two.

hiking
5 months ago

a FAVORITE! perfect spot to stop and jump in the lake!

Love it! It is a workout, no doubt about it. However, it is a well maintained trailer, appropriate for all ages. Just make sure to be prepared, bring enough water along with hiking poles, which would be very helpful in some parts of the trail. Amazing view of the lake rewards you at the top of the mountain. You can hike down to the shore of the lake, venture further a little bit further towards Gem Lake.

Unable to hike today due to high rising and fast moving streams. Turned around and did another hike nearby instead. If you choose to do this hike, bring gators, poles, and spikes. There is mushy snow low on the trail.

on Snow Lake Trail

6 months ago

Just another day at snowlake!!!

It's cold, snowing and sludgy all the things I love. !!

Load More