Spectacle Lake

MODERATE 14 reviews

Spectacle Lake is a 16.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Roslyn, Washington and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is best used from July until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

16.9 miles
2283 feet
Out & Back

dog friendly




trail running




9 months ago

Actually over 35km. Really nice hike, we saw WTA working and horses. Flys were kinda bad on the trail, but the hike was really easy until the last couple miles. Switch backs were really well done with minimal fallen trees.

Beautiful views though, and some of the cleanest water I've EVER seen. I got stung twice for the first time in 8 years. Definitely would do again soon.

10 months ago

Great hike. It's 11 miles from the Pete lake trailhead into Spectacle Lake but not overly difficult because of minimal elevation gain compared to most of our hikes. We both had "heavy" packs on and did fine, but we are avid hikers/backpackers. A cold and swift Lemah creek water crossing and fallen trees blocking parts of the pct were the only obstacles but both doable and fun. Bugs were annoying and plentiful but expected. Go in with lots of bug spray and plan on using it frequently. Had minimal backpacking "neighbors" on our first night at the lake but they were coming in like hoards on night two. We definitely prefer less company but that's life and with a beautiful lake and amazing views... we were just happy to be outside enjoying the perfectly hot temps and blue skies.

It's a long hike and tends to be too popular for our taste but if you love high mountain lakes, do it.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Great hike, awesome mountain views of Lemah, Chikamins, and three queens. Camping on the peninsula offers plentiful access to water and amazing views.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Wow-amazing hike!!! My one and only complaint was that we did not camp up at Spectacle (we camped at Pete's Lake) because there were (and I quote) "100 people camping and partying up there!"
The lakes were beautiful! The hike was a butt-kicker! The river was tough to cross...slippery rocks and fast moving water. All worth it!!

Thursday, October 01, 2015

My wife and I did this as day hike. It was a beautiful fall day, cool in the morning (upper 40s) and into the 70s in the afternoon. The fall colors among the undergrowth were amazing, and Spectacle Lake is great, well worth it.

Note: We found a pair of prescription eyeglasses by the waterfall. Anybody missing them call me at (425) 443 2385.

The road to the trail is paved until the last few miles which is the usual potholed gravel, but passable in our little hatchback.
The trailhead is at Cooper Lake, and from there the path goes past Pete Lake, across the river (easy to cross in September with low flows), joins up with the PCT, and then there's a 1/2 mile spur to the lake.
We clocked it as 18 miles round trip. The path is pretty flat for most of the way. The last mile or two are fairly steady switchbacks with about 1500 feet net elevation gain, but few rocky or rooty patches. So overall, it's a relatively easy path, just long for a day hike. We left the trailhead at 8am, and with time spent at the lake didn't get back until 8pm, about an hour after dark.
Most of the trail is open to horses, so you'll find the usual presents along the way, but it makes for a wide and easy trail.
The first half of the trail up to Pete Lake and beyond is fairly open forest, but with no views. The second half goes along the PCT through a forest fire from a few years back and this gives great views out into the valley and the mountains beyond.
Spectacle Lake is one of the prettiest lakes I've seen the Alpine Wilderness. It has a rock isthmus you can walk along and lots of good places to camp or just take a lunch break. Highly recommended.

Monday, August 13, 2012

It is quite a spectacle! This beautiful lake is nestled in a bowl above the Pacific Crest Trail. A destination unto itself, or as a short side trip from the PCT, this lake is worth a visit.

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Friday, August 28, 2015