Snow Lake Trail

MODERATE 745 reviews
#1 of 24 trails in

Snow Lake Trail is a 6.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Snoqualmie Pass, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
6.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1669 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

walking

beach

forest

lake

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

snow

The first 2 miles are direct, and the final has rock blasted switchbacks to the top of the ridge. Pay attention to signs, because you need to branch right off the trail about 2 miles in. You can extend or shorten the hike by stopping right when you get to the lake or by hiking further along it. In winter you can snowshoe here but it will be much more difficult to find the trail.

hiking
4 days ago

Stunning views, but not an easy hike. Went with my wife (mid 20s) and her sister (early 20s). Took us about 4 hours from start to finish and we made it to the top ridge overlooking the lake. Trail was very rocky, wet, and had a lot of snow. The first 2 miles are manageable, but once you get to the switchbacks it’s basically climbing through snow. Would highly recommend hiking boots or you’ll be slipping and your feet will be wet. It was hard to follow the trail in some places. The lake is still completely frozen and there’s so much snow going down to the lake that the only way to get down is by sliding on your butt. A local at the top said the lake thaws by August. It’s really cold up at the top so bring layers.

Lots of snow left on the trail. Some rocky parts are challenging and with the snow melt it leaves the snowy trail undermined with many tree holes. I actually fell hip deep in one and still wasn’t touching the ground. Spikes and poles are necessary! Trail is hidden and we took a few detours before ALMOST turning back 300 yards before the finish. Very foggy and misty, still a beautiful view for an experienced hiker. I, myself, will wait until the snow melts before hiking again. Some parts unsafe.

9 days ago

Spectacular views of mountains, waterfalls, and wildflowers. The trail went from some sections covered in slushy snow to completely covered in slushy snow. We lost the trail in the full snow portion and turned back. Beautiful none the less.

hiking
9 days ago

This was a fun hike - but be warned - there is still a lot of snow, and it’s starting to melt, which made walking across the snow/boulder field parts a little sketchy. This trail is rated moderate - I would say it’s better for confident hikers who have the proper gear. Having done it in the summer previously I think I’ll wait and do it again in August.

hiking
18 days ago

still need spikes and poles. about 2 miles in there’s a huge drop off that I actually ended up sliding down and into a huge pile of rocks. come prepared, tennis shoes do not qualify.

hiking
1 month ago

Only three stars because the copious sun is making a 3-4” layer of slush. Even in spikes, feels like climbing up a sand dune. Melt has also made runoff stream crossings and tree wells treacherous. Two poles highly recommended.

Still, super beautiful. Recommend going in cooler weather or wait another couple of weeks until melt exposes the summertime trail.

hiking
1 month ago

We turned around after 1 mile. Most of the trail is still covered by snow. Spike and poles are must to have. There is a washed out trail segment, not wide but water current is strong, be prepared to wet your boots...

hiking
1 month ago

In order to write a review I had to rate but can't really rate since we were not prepared for so much snow...a little slippery for us. We turned around after about 1/2 mile. Go prepared with spiked boots and poles. We'll try again!

Check the snow pack for Apental Ski resort http://www.summitatsnoqualmie.com/conditions and it should give you an idea what to expect since the Snow Lake Trail Head is right there.

hiking
1 month ago

Still completely snow covered, but trail is easy to follow.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was beautiful!! Went in July of 2016–there was still some snow at the top, and it was chilly down by the lake. Bring lots of layers. The hike itself was really crowded, and at times, it felt like we were waiting in line to get to the top. Lots of bugs, but if you kept moving it was easy to ignore.

2 months ago

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

snowshoeing
3 months 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.

4 months ago

Spectaular.

snowshoeing
5 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
5 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
5 months ago

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

5 months ago

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.

5 months ago

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
6 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
6 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.

6 months ago

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.

6 months ago

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

hiking
6 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
6 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.

6 months ago

great hike and beautiful views !!

6 months ago

beautiful place and views !!

6 months ago

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!

7 months ago

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

7 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
7 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.

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