Shoe Lake Via Pacific Crest Trail is a 14.8 mile out and back trail located near Naches, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and horses and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
From White Pass, east 7.5 mile on Highway 12 to the Pacific Crest Trailhead at White Pass Campground. Park here, on the north side of the highway. The trailhead is on the south side.
Wow what a gem! This trail is about 14 miles like the others say. The trailhead is off 12 just East of White Pass; the trailhead aka Columbia Canyon/White Pass/PCT #2000.
It's a well-made trail, great for running, with a consistent but mild incline. It's a long hike but filled with many different panoramas, you won't get bored. A few forks in the trail, there are signs of you look closely. This is a breath-taking hike I am amazed it's not crowded. Not a lot of parking and no outhouses.
We had our girl’s weekend at Indian Creek Campground and made Shoe Lake our hike for Saturday. And what a gorgeous hike! It took 6,5 hours to complete this 21km (13 miles - not sure where 8.5miles came from in the description) hike! Love! The trails were a bit muddy before you got to the ridge and once on the ridge you had to really carefully cross 5 patches of snow. This was terrifying but exhilarating as well! There were so many wildflowers that I loved taking photos of: magenta indian paintbrush, indian paintbrush, alpine lilies, tiny alpine lupin, etc.
The only bad thing about this trip was the mosquitoes. Now, being from Wisconsin/Finland you sort of get use to mosquitoes.. let me tell you, I was moving 100% of the time whether we were stopped or not. Swarms by the thousands descend upon you and only the minute breeze at the top of the ridge let us eat lunch in peace for about 10 minutes before we turned around and hiked back. We went through nearly a whole can of bug spray and we still ended the hike looking like we had contracted chicken pox. A mosquito net and 100% DEET bug spray will be my new addition to my hiking backpack.
The views are stunning, the snow was not a problem ("slow and steady wins the race") and the hike is great. I would highly recommend this hike to anyone.. so long as you bring proper bug repellent.
What can I say about Shoe Lake? It's beautiful! It's also buggy this time of year. Bring a head net and wear something loose with long sleeves if stopping for any length of time.
There were few wildflowers and the trail is moderate with a slight elevation gain the whole way. The trail is easily traveled but there were many blowdowns within the first 2 miles to Ginnette Lake. Made for some good yoga moves going under or around. After that the trail levels out traveling next to a few beautiful meadows. After you pass the Chairlift trail 1112 junction you'll start traveling along a ridge with stunning views and many viewpoints! Soon you'll see the chairlift. An interesting surprise but it soon disappears. In about a mile the first views of your destination appear. A saddle to access Shoe Lake. We ran in to more and more snow patches along this ridge but those were easily traveled, until you skirt Hogback Mountain. Viewpoints show you this section of trail. Along this section, the trail skirts the ridge-line on its steep slope and there were 3 large patches of snow that are dicey to travel at best. Poles made it easier. Be careful crossing the snow. If you slip, it's a long slide down the slope with rocks here and there. This is were we turned around, making it half way across the first snow field. It was too late in the day to continue, and moving on wouldn't be safe. We were about 1/2 mile from Shoe Lake. So we try again next month when there is less snow and mosquitoes.
All and all, this is a great hike. Beautiful in all it's glory and a must see! Go later in the year if snow is an issue.