Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

Very good views of the lake nestled amongst tree-lined peaks - well worth the hike. One of the rockier trails I’ve done, so sturdy soles are a must. It does get pretty slippery and icy close to the top. I had to bundle up as the wind picked up closer to the top, but then is cut off once you get through the switchbacks towards the lake. Overall, great hike!

hiking
2 days ago

This was our first hike in the PNW! We loved it! It was a little bit slippery at the top, thankfully we had read reviews and used microspikes, they made all the difference!
We really enjoyed it! and the view was amazing!

hiking
2 days ago

Trail was partially covered in snow. I would recommend wearing at least hiking shoes. We slipped a few times in our hikers. The first mile isn’t terrible. It’s mostly the second mile and the decent down to the lake that is pretty slick. Overall fun hike. Definitely moderate. Majority of the way up is incline. We caught the sunset on the way down around 4. Lots of potholes on the gravel road up but wasn’t too muddy today. Lot was full at 12.

hiking
2 days ago

Super crowded. But the spectacular view of the lake was worth putting up with the hordes of people.

hiking
3 days 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
7 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.

hiking
15 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
16 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
16 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
18 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
19 days ago

Beautiful views! Totally worth the hike up☺️

It is hard indeed. We started late so we did not make it to the lake, but views from accent are great. There is no trail up to the pass, just hike up-slope.

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
21 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
22 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.

This is is right in the middle of a busy area but is unknown! Disclaimer: this hike is not 12 miles it’s just over 14 RT! The hike to trap lake is easy to follow. After that it becomes more difficult. As the other reviewer said once you get to the junction of the PCT follow the sketchiest trail to the left that kind of hugs the cliff line. I would suggest bringing GPS as from here it gets difficult at times and easy to loose the trail. We had it out most of the way through the bouldering part just to make sure we were close to the trail. Well worth the soreness from 14 miles and close to 4K gain! Thunder mountain lake was incredible! Trail was quite icy in many sections above trap lake. No snow as of yesterday but the snow level is expected to drop tonight to 4K so I’m sure this info will not be correct soon!

24 days ago

Beautiful!

hiking
24 days ago

Amazing views!

This hike is a hidden gem. Once you make your way past the second lake you’ll come to a spot where you can continue the PCT. The trail to Thunder Lake Mountain will be a bit harder to make out and is left of the PCT. Be prepared to scramble the last 1/3 of the hike and occasionally lose the trail. Don’t fret, just follow some of the rock piles and be observant for where the trail will pick up again (usually the grassier areas).

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.

AllTrails doesn’t have Chetwoot listed here, but this seems like a good place to post, since these were the reviews I read before departing.
There are several posts that question the mileage, but trail running the length of the trail proved the mileage is pretty close. My Garmin watch just barely hit 10 miles when I arrived at Chetwoot. This includes little deviations at vistas and lakes along the way, and just a few times of losing the trail.
Overall the trail is very well maintained, the washout at the beginning looks great! Thank you to all of the volunteers! The climb up to Copper Lake has a lot of elevation gain, with some views of the valley as well as the waterfall.
We didn’t spend any time at Little Heart Lake. Comparatively speaking, it is less impressive then the others. Big Heart Lake and Angeline are magnificent. The trail along the ridge between the two has multiple locations to view both lakes. The deep blue color will blow you away. There were a few points where we lost the trail, but it was easy to get it back. The views before dropping down to Chetwoot are amazing, especially this time of the year, with just a little fall color left over.
The climb down to Chetwoot is steep, but only for a short while. This was a beautiful place to have lunch.
We climbed Iron Cap as well, following the talus to the east of the lake up to the ridge. Then followed the east/west ridge to the top. Some exposed areas, but reasonable. No ropes or climbing gear needed.
This hike gets better the further in you go. If I were to stop at Cooper Lake, it is a 3-4 star. But getting to at least the beginning of Big Heart, it easily becomes a 5 star.

hiking
29 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
29 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.

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