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Spectacle Lake

MODERATE 79 reviews

Spectacle Lake is a 18.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Roslyn, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 18.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,601 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

rocky

snow

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
4 months ago

Hiked cooper lake to Snoqualmie pass and slept at spectacle one night. was an amazing experience! Trail is straight down to the lake, and hiking through the burn was hot (no shade) and beautiful. Remember to move through the burn quickly as it can be a dangerous area. I recommend hiking up the PCT for a sweeping vista with spectacle lake (steep but worth it).

hiking
off trail
5 months ago

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

My husband and I took a two night camping trip to spectacle Lake. We started at Cooper Lake trail head and about 4 1/2 miles in we stopped at Petes Lake to enjoy beautiful views. Then continued on over Lema Creek and up switchbacks to Spectacle Lake. (11 miles total) The views are amazing. We camped both nights at the tip of the peninsula. There were a few other campers and seen hikers in and out. The way out was a lot easier than the way in possibly because the pack was a little lighter but more likely because it’s more downhill. Next time I would camp at Lema Creek Campground the first night (it’s maybe 6 or 7 miles in) and then be well rested for the switchbacks and hike up to spectacle Lake. Then the second night camp at spectacle. Make sure to bring water shoes for the crossing of lema Creek. Also we would try lighten the pack. Mine was 35lbs and my husbands was close to 50lbs. It was a bit much on the switchbacks. Overall we had a wonderful hiking experience and we will be back.

hiking
blowdown
bridge out
5 months ago

We started at the Pete’s Lake TH. Our goal was to hike into Spectacle Lake. Overall the trail was in great shape thanks to the America Corps group doing trail maintenance. Great hike, the water crossing felt good on my tired feet.

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

beautiful hike! the gravel road out there is in good condition and I didn’t have any trouble in my FWD minivan. the parking lot was full when we got there midmorning. the first four miles to Pete Lake are flat and easy going, just have to look out for horse turds. all of the blowdowns have been cleared. once you cross the creek is when it gets good—just a bit further on and you spend most of the rest of the hike weaving through an old burn area covered in ribbons of white and purple wildflowers. the views are so incredible that it makes the switchbacks pretty painless. we ran into a few friendly WCC workers clearing brush and fixing washouts—thanks for your hard work! the signs pointing to the right turn towards Spectacle are easy to miss, so look for the cairn in the path. it’s tough to find the trail that leads to the inlet—if you take the one that’s directly next to the water, you have to scale a small rock face that is easier than it looks, but would be spooky if you don’t have climbing experience. the safer trail is up above and pops out right next to the toilet sign. overall, beautiful hike, friendly people, A+ sunset

hiking
bugs
muddy
rocky
scramble
5 months ago

beautiful hike. 10/10

backpacking
bugs
6 months ago

Definitely a bit of challenging hike for a first time backpacker. We started out hiking to Pete's lake on Friday and camped there overnight. Beautiful views and tons of great secluded camping spots. We left on Saturday to head to Spectacle lake. We got lost a few times. The first episode occurred right out of the gate leaving Pete's Lake. I had read about the river crossing that would shorten the hike by about 2.7 miles, but I wasn't sure where the creek crossing occurred. We ended up crossing over a creek at the north end of Pete's lake where there was a fallen log. The campers nearby had said they saw people heading through that way, so I was sure this was the creek crossing that people were talking about. After crossing, we went in about 50-100 feet and quickly realized there was no defined trail and we would have to turn back. Almost lost each other trying to go back through the way we had come while avoiding the swarm of mosquitoes that attacked us the second we stepped foot on the other side of the water. After a few cuts/bruises and a lot more mosquito bites, we managed to cross back over and venture towards the correct trail. The campers near the creek were very gracious and offered us some bug spray. We had gone through almost an entire bottle in one night so we were running low. After about a 5 minute hike, we found the main trail from Pete's lake that would lead to Lemah's crossing and out to Spectacle Lake. The crossing was exactly 1.5 miles from the start of our hike from Pete's lake. The crossing wasn't too bad, although the water was so cold that it hurt! It would have been a good idea for us to let our feet dry thoroughly before putting our shoes back on, but the mosquitoes surrounding the river were so awful we just needed to move away as quickly as possible. During our crossing, we ran into some park rangers that informed us there were no campfires allowed at Spectacle Lake, which was kind of a bummer. We were able to have fires at Pete's Lake with no issue. We went through the forest fire area, which was quite an eery but beautiful site. The ferns and wildflowers that had sprouted up were a great contrast to the white stag trees that remained from the fire in 2009. After the dead forest, we began our mild incline on a rocky switchback trail. So far so good. I was easily sidetracked from the weight of my backpack by viewing out across the vast terrain and the views that went on forever. You start inclining about 3 miles from Spectacle lake. Once you pass through the dead tree forest, you will continue through to the start of water falls and creek crossings while continuing up the switchbacks. As the incline gets more strenuous, you're about 1-1.5 miles from Spectacle lake. We were pretty exhausted at this point and I had read that you should avoid any man-made trails if you don't want to get lost heading to Spectacle. We past a dirt trail to our right and I told my fiancé that was probably just a man made trail and we needed to continue heading up the mountain. After about 0.75 miles up the most strenuous switchbacks we had faced yet, I looked over and saw a lake off in the distant. My heart sank as I instantly knew we had gone too far. We passed some hikers descending and confirmed that yes, we had past Spectacle lake and that we were on our way up to Glaciar Lake. After giving ourselves a rest, we descended back down the trail and found that the hikers we had spoken to at the top of the trail had left us a note in the dirt to guide us to the lake. This was the dirt path that I had previously told me fiancé not to take! There is a sign on the tree far above the path but it isn't explicitly clear where to go to get to Spectacle lake. Once we arrived, we were beat and didn't have much energy to appreciate the view. It was fairly cold and pretty busy. By the time we arrived, there were already several campsites already staked out and not much room for us to stay. We decided after a short visit to the lake that we would head back down to Pete's lake and try to scope out another camping spot. A couple notes for future hikers: There aren't many great places to stop and take a breather on this trail once you hit the switchbacks - just a few big rocks and a bunch of steep hillsides. So take your pick on where you want to rest up. I decided to scope out some walking sticks as this rocky, muddy hillside was not the best footing for an exhausted first time backpacker. The switchbacks were vary narrow and any misstep could result in injury. That being said, this trail is doable for younger kids as long as there isn't a heavy load to carry. Lastly, this trail is decently trafficked. We saw quite a few people on our way up and down the trail who were also heading to Spectacle Lake. So don't expect to be alone if you're choosing to camp here in the summer.

hiking
bugs
6 months ago

hiking
bugs
6 months ago

hiking
blowdown
muddy
7 months ago

This was a beautiful hike and well worth the last couple miles of elevation gain and switchbacks. we started at Pete lake trail and the mileage was a little more than listed for the hike. We crossed at Lemah Creek without a bridge but it was better than adding on the 2+ mile walk around. after the crossing that is where nearly all the elevation gain occurred. there are also 35 downed trees between the Creek and the Ridge. Some of the downed trees were small enough to step over & others big enough to have to climb over or under. There was also some pretty muddy/rocky areas after the bridge by the waterfall . once to the Ridge, there is a decent downhill descent to the lake. there are social trails to use, but not as defined as the original trail. go to the left if you want to stay on the peninsula. we went right (not knowing) and by the time we made it down and realized, we were too tired to hike back up and over to the other trail. The view of spectacle lake was fully worth it! breathtaking

backpacking
blowdown
bugs
over grown
7 months ago

Awesome hike, with a lot of variety. The trail is easy all the way up, but in places it is overgrown, obstructed by down trees, or wet and muddy, with streams flowing down the trail. It is almost completely snow free as of 6/14. The views along the trail are great, there is an incredible waterfall, and I can't say enough good about the scenery at the lake. I had it completely to myself for the night. Mosquitoes were an annoyance, but I've seen much worse. Overall, loved the trip.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
7 months ago

Got back from this trail yesterday (6/2/19). From this weekend on the trail should have minimal snow on it, but there were times that we had to stop and look around because we couldn’t see the trail anymore. Footprints and hope got us to the lake in some sections. There’s one spot that requires you to go through a river that is, at some points, thigh deep. This was about half a mile after Pete’s lake. If there was a bridge or log to cross it, we couldn’t find it, but the trail went right through a spot that didn’t have anything to cross it. Absolutely worth it. The lake still had some ice on it but there’s a good portion that is not frozen. Really gorgeous at the top, it was worth all the scrapes, wet clothes, and lost phones. Most of the elevation gain is towards the end of the 9 mile hike when you would be most tired. Lots of fallen trees at one section too. Be wary of bears or cougars.

backpacking
bridge out
snow
8 months ago

Our original intention was to hike to Spectacle. We had to park our car about 4 miles short of the trailhead (due to snow) and backpack in. We made it somewhere between the trailhead and Pete’s Lake. At that point we lost the trail and and I was occasionally sinking knee to thigh deep (I’m 5,3”, 150lbs, +35-40 lb pack). We set up for the night and back tracked to Cooper Lake for our second day. All things considered we had a blast. The weather was gorgeous (5/4-5/5), the wildlife was out, the forest was so inviting, and Cooper Lake was pristine! If we would have grabbed our snow shoes we would have been set. I can’t wait to try again when the snow is gone!

Sun Sep 30 2018

Just hiked this on Friday September 28th. The water at Lemah creek was still a bit high so had to cross barefoot. The trail is pretty incredible!

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