Alta Mountain South Ridge Climber's Trail

HARD 16 reviews

Alta Mountain South Ridge Climber's Trail is a 9.9 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Snoqualmie Pass, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

9.9 miles
3,480 feet
Out & Back




nature trips

rock climbing





wild flowers






Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Decided to head upstairs to visit Rachel yesterday. Had forgotten how "fun" this trail is. Brushy, rocky, rooty stairs. I have never seen so many trilliums blooming at once! Snowmelt is turning the last mile or so up to the lake into a creek, so a change of socks is good to have. The actual trail to Rachel is almost snow free with the exception of a couple of large snow fields on the last ascent to the lake. Had the lake to myself when I arrived and took an hour to nap in the hammock and dry my feet.

Began my ascent up Rampart Ridge (took the spur trail to the right of the lake, left of the "toilet" sign), enjoying the shrinking view of Rachel below. Some very cool cloud iridescence, too! Lost the trail a couple of times heading up to the junction for Lila/Rampart Lakes, but was always able to find it again quickly. There are some tricky snow patches that make the trail a little difficult to follow, so a GPS/route finding skills come in handy.

Took a right at the junction for Lila Lake, heading north through some more snow fields. I saw several spots where people had post holed through in the boulder field just before the trail split for Alta Mountain/Lila Lakes. If you are headed up to Alta make sure you veer left at the cairn, instead of heading right to Lila Lakes. There are quite a few larger snow drifts remaining from this point on, as well as running water melting the snow from underneath, so use caution here! Note: I didn't make it to Lila Lakes this time around, but they still appear to be frozen over from my view above the ridge.

The trail is a pretty straightforward ridge climb up the peak, with stunning views all around. Enjoyed watching Rainier and Adams gradually come into view behind me as I ascended. The vegetation is lush and the blueberries/huckleberries will be bountiful here in a month or two! My favorite section up the ridge was blanketed by glacial lilies. The autumn colors up here are spectacular in September, but I was blown away by the bloom in June! Rare wildlife viewing -- a single pika sunning himself on a boulder.

Monday, September 19, 2016

More like a ridge walk and only one place that actaully requires hands to climb. But the ridge is pretty long and exposed some sections.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Amazing views of Snoqualmie Pass area. Took a side trip to Lila Lake, then used a spur trail near the grove of trees to get up to the ridge. There's a false summit along the trail, the real one is the one you see up north, about 50 feet higher.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Gorgeous 360 views of mountain peaks and looking down on the PCT. I did it as a long day hike. Missed the turn off above Rachel Lake and continued on to Rampart Lakes, then circled back and headed up the ridge to Alta. Not much shade along the stretch up Rampart Ridge. Completely snow free as of June 6. The road is in good shape but also overgrown in parts.

11 days ago

1 month ago

trail running
10 months ago

Monday, July 17, 2017

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Monday, August 15, 2016

Friday, September 11, 2015