Explore the most popular lake trails near Cle Elum with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
9 hours ago

This was such a spectacular hike—nothing but breathtaking views from start to finish. We arrived at the trailhead at 10:30 am on July 15, were able to park on the road just outside of the parking lot. It was full but the early-morning hikers were on their way out, freeing up some space. It was 80 degrees and HOT! Went through a gallon and a half of water and stopped plenty of times throughout the hike (was great for taking in the view, too). We saw a lot of goats, some grouse too. As others have said, still a few stretches of snow but nothing you can’t cover with hiking boots. We brought YakTraks just in case and didn’t end up using them. We got back around 4:30, but could have made it quicker if it was cooler outside. This was our favorite hike we’ve done so far because it was as beautiful as it was challenging. Might even top Maple Loop in our book!

Info for first-time visitors:
-Our Honda Civic made it to the trailhead without issue. It was a dry, sunny day—not sure what it would have been like with mud, definitely wouldn’t have made it in snow.
-You’re in the sun a majority of the hike. Wear sunscreen and reapply like crazy.
-Bring your bug spray.
-The trail gets harder to follow once you’re in the basin (like you will have to navigate around/over some rocks, the trail isn’t clear-cut). Look for the cairns and you won’t get lost.
-Don’t forget to look up! We saw a 10 goats during this hike, including babies.

Hiked this July 9th, trail in was clear but still a fair amount of snow at Rampart. The largest lake is still over half covered in snow/ice. Mesquites are out in force so take repellent. Warm during the day and not very cold at night. Water is crystal clear. I just absolutely love this place.

hiked Jun 17th, still a lot of snow towards the last mile of the trail. hard to see/locate the trail. have the map saved and bring bug repellent.

hiking
10 days ago

The lake was still frozen over but still gorgeous! We saw a couple mountain goats. (Note: No dogs allowed on trail! Poor goats were chased by a hikers dog on our way back) There were still a couple good streches of snow to pass but not too bad. It was a gorgeous day so lots of fellow hikers on the trail.

Did a day hike with my dog yesterday to check out the status on rampart ridge. Rachel Lake is completely snow free and beautiful. As you climb up the ridge above Rachel, it is packed with a good 3-5 feet of snow. Tread carefully since a lot of hollow spots sit on large rocks. The ridge has a few patches and majority of the rampart lakes are still frozen. The snow is melting quickly though so hopefully there will be more ideal camping up there in the next month. Great moderate rated day hike for a healthy person in my opinion.

hiking
22 days ago

Loved it despite the lake was still frozen over. Expect to see mountain goats that can be fairly aggressive and this is why dogs are not allowed.

Amazing scenery. The lakes are still snowed in. Also the last have mile of trail before the snow has turned into a raging creek. There are also large creeks that must be crossed by wading through. Bring plenty of socks and changes of pants.

Once you break off from where the trail splits with the Ingalls Pass trail it is a moderate incline up to Fortune Creek Pass. Mostly snow free all the way to the pass. A few feet of snow still remains halfway up the side trail to Lake Ann. Great views.

hiking
30 days ago

This is one of the best hikes that I have been on. Starts off a bit steep but then once you are off the tree line and enter the clear its a walk in the most breath taking view a mountain can offer then it's a snow hike which we couldn't do because we didnt have the right gears. I enjoyed a lot on this hike. Didn't see a lot of hiker on the way. There are streams of water so that's a good thing.
Saw micro climate change started of sunny then cloudy drizzling in the mid section n snowing on top it was brilliant!
I am no serious hiker found this hike a little difficult but it's ok walk your pace and you should be fine. :)

1 month ago

Beautiful trek! Requires snow shoes, snow trek clothing and equipment.

No dogs. Not sure who comes up with these backwards policies.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiking through meadows above Rachel and ascending the ridge to see Lila for the first time was one of the most magical moments I have ever experienced. The July (2017) sun warmed up the small lake nicely for refreshing and surprisingly comfortable swims. Couldn’t recommend it more highly.

6 months ago

it's actually 15.5 miles from parking to lake Lillian and back--not 8. hike was beautiful and got a little technical with a small boulder field and an unclear path within a half mile or less of lake Lillian. my suggestion is to head to Margaret lake and save yourself several miles for a very similar, if not more, beautiful view.

great views of Rainer on a clear day on your way up.

I agree with the other reviews. Beautiful, difficult, bug repellant is a must, force yourself to go the extra mile+ to the Rampart lakes, hiking poles would have been very helpful, especially on the way down (big, steep steps, rocky and or roots).
We went on a Monday and had a couple lakes to ourselves and shared the others with only 2-4 people. So tranquil and awesome. I love waterfalls and wildflowers and they were everywhere! Also, yes, its cold but you have to swim in one of the lakes.

backpacking
8 months ago

This is an incredible overnight trip. I know there are a lot of questions right now about trail conditions and trailhead access. We were skeptical ourselves. However, as of Sunday morning, the trailhead is easily accessible for high clearance vehicles. Two friends and I went out in a Honda Accord and had to park before the last wash-out, although this wash-out is only MAYBE a quarter of a mile from the trailhead, so the extra walk is not bad at all. Intermittent snow on your way up to Ingalls Pass, although its all easily passable. Once you reach the pass the North side is all under snow. The trail can be hard to find at times, but now that the snow has been worked in, you should be able to follow where others have gone. You will need microspikes or crampons for sure. We camped in the basin for a night and it was spectacular. Got a little chilly at night but not bad. The lake is gorgeous and worth the hike up from your camp site, although, it is quite steep and will make you work for it. If the weather turns and the trail gets more snow, I don't see how it would be passable without snowshoes--there is already 4-18" depending on area.

hiking
8 months ago

Took the backdoor trail and stopped at Lake Laura on the way. Super pretty views! Very steep, but worth it.

Very challenging trail in the snow, make sure you have adequate dry clothing and warm clothing, especially when staying over night. A beautiful destination, the elevation gain was very intense for a beginning backpacker

hiking
8 months ago

The ridge line and meadow was my favorite part, with all the beautiful golden Larches in full display.

hiking
9 months ago

I did this hike with a friend, and while I am not a fan of the trail itself between the parking lot and Rachel Lake... both were gorgeous. Lila Lake felt very remote, but also safe as there were a few campers there too. I wouldn't go alone.

I stupidly hiked alone to Rampart Lakes with a bikini in my backpack and got lost in deep snow one July. Not my proudest moment, but fortunately I had standard extra food, water, layers! I also find the trail up to even Rachel Lake to be very unpleasant. Everything up there is gorgeous though and somehow people brought tons of kids both times I passed Rachel Lake - which seems like a fun, place to camp and swim. I would't recommend going alone to anyone, and of course, don't be stupid like I was that day. :-/ This trail also put my bug spray to the test!

Mostly want to leave his review for those hesitant to head out to this hike with the wildfires in the area. Was only hazy for about an hour or so and then it cleared up, leaving us with phenomenal views. Forgot how much I loved this hike- well worth the last mile climb to the top!

backpacking
10 months ago

Stumbled upon this by mistake. We planned another hike, but was closed off due to fires. This definitely is a moderate hike. Uphill nearly all the way for about 3 miles. The views up the side are nice! Once over the ridge, you have two paths to the lake. We took the shorter path down to set up camp. These views were even better! The next day we did the one mile hike to the lake - then my breath was taken away (and not just from hiking!). The lake is surreal. Definitely go to the left around the lake to the far side. You don't want to miss that!
Hiking back from the lake we found plenty of spots for water. Still - we filtered most of it.
The last day, we hiked up and then the 3 miles down hill.
So very happy we came here! Would absolutely come again!

backpacking
10 months ago

Nice view

backpacking
10 months ago

Everytime I come to the PNW I fall more and more in love with the place. This hike was my first overnight trek and a brilliant one at that. Get in early to get the best campsites though, especially on a cracking weekend like I had.

backpacking
11 months ago

backpacking
11 months ago

I loved this place! Was there July 14-16 and my goodness I've never seen so many people camped in one location. It's amazing there was room for us all. The trail wasn't well marked and we found ourselves accidentally going on little side trails a few times but were rewarded with great views. The bugs were very heavy so we hid in the tent and spent a lot of time on the water to avoid them. All in all though, it was a great trip and I'll go again! Definitely take the time to visit Rampart Lakes and climb to the summit of Alta Mountain while there!

Hard hike, but beautiful. After a quick swim ventured further on to Rampart Ridge and Lakes; a must. Had Rampart Lakes all to ourselves... heavenly! Water is perfect for swimming. Bugs were bad, but responded well to repellent. Trail was free of people until late afternoon.this hike is not based from Cle Elum though, it's from the top of Snoqualmie Pass.

trail running
11 months ago

Fun trail run until half way, where there are a ton of roots and rocks which make you slow down not to trip.

Lake is beautiful and able to swim.

Would be an awesome place to camp.

camping
11 months ago

Spectacular setting once you crest Ingalls pass. It's a bummer the road is closed 1 mi from the trailhead (no good reason), but maybe it keeps (some of) the crowds away. Headlight basin is a spectacular spot to camp as well (as many know).

11 months ago

Awesome awesome views. Not much more to say. Pictures really don't do it justice.

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