Snow Lakes Trail is a 15.2 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Leavenworth, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until November.

Length15.2 miElevation gain4,560 ftRoute typeOut & back
BackpackingCampingFishingHikingSnowshoeingRunningForestLakeRiverViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlifeRockyNo dogs
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Washington State Tourism, P.O. Box 42500 , Olympia, WA, 98504-2500, Phone: 360-586-2088, tobyg@tourism.wa.gov

Directions from Leavenworth: Take Icicle Road west for approximately 5 miles to a winter recreation area on the left. Watch for the Snow Lakes Trailhead immediately beyond.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (286)
Photos (677)
Recordings (261)
Completed (1,416)
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Ben Edwards
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarDecember 27, 2020
Hiking

Lots of snow today. Fine with micro spikes most of the way but snowshoes would have been nice near the dnd and perhaps would have extended the hike.

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Kacey Morrow
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 26, 2020
Hiking

Beautiful! Micro spikes needed for the first mile then put on snowshoes.

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Jamie Rice
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarDecember 24, 2020
SnowshoeingGreat!IcySnow

Today was incredible! At around one mile up we saw two mountain goats on the first rock face on the left. We wore micro spikes and made it 5.5 miles up, then it started getting pretty deep with snow so we turned back. Didn’t make it to Nada lake but still beautiful views. Slippery conditions but poles and spikes made it manageable. Saw a few snowshoers...might be a good idea to pack them in towards the end.

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David Malmstrom
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Hiking
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Christopher Cornue
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HikingGreat!
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Jeff Wei
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HikingGreat!
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Amina Willard
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Completed this hike on 9/26. It was perfect weather for the climb. So many beautiful things to see on the hike colors changing and Great views. You can hear rushing water and see waterfalls along the way. It's so wonderful to see three lakes as you venture to the top. Our favorite was upper snow lake. The trail is rocky and if you aren't watching you can easily catch your foot and fall. Hiking poles recommended. The first part of the hike is a constant switchback climb then it becomes a little less steep. Still a climb. The trail from Nada lake to snow lakes was also a steep one. It took us 3.5 hours up and just under 3 hours down.

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Hungry Hiker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2020
HikingRockyScramble

We hiked this in error! We thought we were doing a shorter hike but turns out we did this one instead! It is a constant climb- about 4,400 elevation gain and almost 8 miles in. We enjoyed the challenge! Colchuck Lake views beat Snow Lakes in our opinion! Be sure to check them both out!

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Benoit Barabe
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Backpacking
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Dueling CO
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WalkingGreat!

This is a no joke trail. I only got to Nada Lake due to time constraints and it was uphill all the way. A lot of switchbacks. I was lucky to encounter a mountain goat along the way who i named Ralphie. Nada Lake is serene and absolutely breathtaking. Very cold, only good for a dip or two! Enjoy the views on the way up!

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Andy Morris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 8, 2020
Hiking

Great trail, I didn’t get to see a whole lot of this trail because we were completing a through hike from Colchuk Trailhead to Snow Lake Trailhead. The trail was marked pretty well and we were able to get out without no problems other than the trail is not marked to the parking lot after crossing the large bridge at the end. Make sure if it is dark out you look to your right after you cross the bridge and follow the trail up. Going to the end brings you to private property. Should have a sign for people like me who just finished 20 straight hours and just want to get in the car.

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Barrett Remmen
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Hiking

Greatest

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Kev Alvord
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
HikingRocky

Hiked on 8/23/2020 Did this as a day hike...started at the trail head right near Leavenworth WA at 6 AM and hiked up to Snow Lakes. The hike was tough and had great views in my opinion. I'd never been in this area before and the hike gave me a great idea on what The Enchantments have to offer and I look forward to seeing more of the area. As i got back down to the bottom a couple of gals who had just completed a 3 day journey told that Snow Lake was just a small snapshot of what you get to see deeper in. I highly recommend this hike as it met my two primary goals of getting a great workout and getting nice views! Two t hings I will add - 1) the trail is rocky so it would be hard for trail running and 2) Did not encounter any mosquitoes whatsoever and did not even have on bug spray (I doubt this is always the cast though).

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Greg Young
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 23, 2020
Hiking

I’ll admit we didn’t do the full hike so I can’t speak to the difficulty later on, but the views from the beginning segment made it worth the out-and-back and I can only assume the rest of the hike is just as beautiful if you’re up for it.

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Kristen Lovene McCamey
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Hiking

Beautiful, challenging, & rewarding hike. 15.5 miles round trip, completed in 6 hrs 20 min. Multiple types of terrain was awesome. The way down was definitely tougher than the way up!

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Julia Mangelsdorf
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Hiking
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Grace O'Brien
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HikingFee

We were planning to do Colchuck but parking was full so we did this instead. Stunning lakes at the top, and well worth it! pretty tough hiking in terms of elevation - but the trail wasn’t technically too hard.

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Jessica Rademacher
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Hiking
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Andrea Betz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020
Hiking

I wouldn’t consider myself a pro hiker and this was only my second backpacking trio and I was able to do this hike with no problems. We camped at snow lake and hiked into the core the next day which made the hike much more doable. Getting a early start to the trip (7am) helped as the first mile plus is fully exposed switch backs. After that it was pretty shaded and the temp dropped the higher we got. The hike from snow lake to the core was a bit more technical but really fun with some bouldering but nothing that was to difficult. I was mostly surprised at how many groups of people were up at the core. Several times we had to stop and wait for large groups of 10+ to get past some bouldering areas before the next group could go. I guess for a Saturday that’s probably normal but I was surprised to see traffic jams of people in the mountains.

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Audrey Germond
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
BackpackingBugsGreat!No shadeRockyScramble

Backpacked to Snow Lakes after winning an Enchantments lottery permit. This was my 2nd time doing this as a backpacking trip and it is very difficult, especially carrying a 35lb pack! The views and experiences are worth the effort though. Start as early as you possibly can in the morning because the heat is brutal right now and a lot of the trail is uncovered (the first ~1.5 miles of switchbacks and then a second mostly unshaded area right before the foot bridge about halfway up). The heat of July makes this hike even harder than it already is, so plan accordingly. The bugs are also AWFUL right now. We were covered in three different kinds of bug spray and one of them was deeted, and were still eaten alive on the trail as well as at the lakes (and further up in the Core as well). If it wasn't the mosquitos, the big black flies were still constantly trying to land on us. Temps up at Upper Snow were still quite warm, I'd guess high 70s to low 80s, and the water is warm enough to swim in during the heat of the day. The area of trail right above Nada Lake that used to be boulder hopping/scrambling has been transformed into a very easy swathe of dirt and small pebbles, making the hike much more technically feasible. The lakes are beautiful and plenty of camping spots available right on the water, you can even camp at Nada Lake or lower down along Icicle Creek for an easier trip. Thimble berries are starting to ripen so I had a pretty good snack of trail berries on the way down. We went into the Core 2 days in a row. Strenuous and difficult but worth every painful step. I love this area and would recommend it to anyone looking for a challenge and to be spoiled by beauty.

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Andres Gomez Sanchez
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HikingGreat!
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Ariadna Camats
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 27, 2020
HikingBugsNo shadeScramble

Always a great hike - the first 2 miles (switchbacks) were brutal due to the heat. After that, there’s enough shade until upper snow lake, which is where we camped (with a permit). The rock scrambles before Nada lake and lower Snow lake have literally been blown up to small rocks and now the hike is much easier to navigate than in previous years. Some other parts of the trail from Nada lake (snow zone) up to lake Vivian (core zone) have also been fixed and additional cairns have been placed making the trail much more intuitive to follow. The only bad thing about doing this hike during this time of the year (I.e. July) is the bugs. If you’re camping by the lake, the mosquitos will eat you alive even if you shower yourself in bug repellent. Be advised.

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