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

I started @ the Pratt Lake TH on Sunday August 12TH around 9 AM. The trail was in great condition all the way up to Lower Tuscohatchie Lake. After the lake there was a few blown down trees and some scrub over growth on the trail leading up to Melakwa Lake. Over all, not bad trail conditions. I eventually made my way down to Denny Creek and my GPS showed 16.5 miles. Of course there was the walk back to the Pratt Lake / Granite Mountain TH parking lot on forest road 5800. My GPS watch showed a total of 19.72 miles in 8 hours 50 minutes. I arrived back to my truck around 6PM. I only stopped for a 5 minute break, the occasional picture and a 10 minute lunch break at Melakwa Lake. The trail is rated difficult and I would agree. There wasn’t really any mosquitos or bugs on the trail. If you want to test your hiking endurance, seek solitude or want views of beautiful lakes, mountains and forests, this is the hike for you.

I hiked southbound July 13th in two days. Started at 6 a.m. and set up camp at Deep Lake around 6 p.m. Decided last minute to take the Goldmyer Alternate route and finished up at Alpental late in the evening in day 2.

I do this Section a couple of times each year and am amazed at the great condition of the trail. A great big thank you to all those volunteers that do the hard work keeping the PCT safe and in good condition.

This was the earliest I have done this section and the snow was present in many areas, but very manageable. I also tend to camp at Deep Lake each time out and tolerate the mosquitoes. Lot’s of bug spray and am thinking of passing by next time to avoid them.

Great couple of days of solitude. Just what I needed.

Hiked in August and the trail was easy to navigate. Definitely needed bug spray. The views are outstanding and the water extremely refreshing to swim in. I agree with the other commenters about it getting packed with people, loose and rocky terrain, and overall good workout of a hike.

If you haven’t done the hike yet, it is certainly worth doing and seeing. I recommend early morning, weekday, in the summer to get the fullest experience.

Happy hiking!

Beautiful, breathtaking views. Especially from Mt. Wright at sunrise. Hiked in August. Lots of little creeks to walk over, wildflowers, and Snow Lake is exceptional. Mosquitoes are bad from 6-10 am but seemed to be non-existent from 10 on. I left the trail at 1pm.
Happy hiking!

I don't know who wrote the trail summary. "Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash." NO don't even think of taking your dogs, kids or elderly grandparents up Red Mountain. Red Mountain is a scramble from Red Lake to the summit.

Tried to make a loop from PCT-N and back via PCT and back on Commonwealth.....couldn’t find the trail after the river

hiking
18 days ago

Hiked 7/28/18. Parking lot was 80% full at 8:30 AM. The trail was very busy to Snow Lake, but thinned out on the trail to Gem Lake. Beautiful view. Wish I had brought clothes to go swimming.

hiking
20 days ago

Top trail takeaways:
1. The road to the trailhead is an old forest road, and it’s pretty washed out in places. I’d not recommend without an SUV.
2. This trail is not maintained by the WTA, so it gets pretty faint/ confusing at times. GPS is recommended, otherwise you’ll end up at Mirror Lake.
3. Trekking poles were pretty helpful for the final .5ish gravel scramble to the top.
4. Despite it being a very warm day, it was very chilly in the wind at the top. Pack a light jacket.
Trip time: 5:30 with :45+ at the top
Report:
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to hike up loose gravel, this is your chance! The final half mile of this hike is up shifting rock of various sizes, but the view from the top is well worth it. Leave your sedan at home and go for the SUV instead, the road to the trailhead is pretty rough. Bring a GPS application or device if you’re unfamiliar with this area for Snoqualmie, the trail isn’t maintained by the WTA and is pretty faint at times. Start from the trailhead at mirror lake and hang a right about a mile/ mile and a half in, this was marked by a Cairn when I was there, but otherwise has no distinguishing sign. Bring a jacket for the top, it was chilly despite an 80+ degree day when I hiked. There was still a tiny bit of snow at the top last weekend, but you don’t need micro-spikes. Poles were an immense help for balance up the final gravel scramble. Bring sunscreen as the final mile or so us uncovered. Enjoy!

Photos from the hike: https://www.instagram.com/kjcoop/

The views from the top are amazing!

hiking
23 days ago

We made the summit today after about 4.5 hr hike from the trail head of Denny Creek. The way up to the lake Melakwa was smooth, then we followed the trail right-side of the "Toilet" sign all the way to the first fake peak and then going down for a few hundred feet and then up again to the summit. The last 200 ft or so were full of loose rocks. I climbed on the left side which was steeper than the right-side way up which was taken by my friend.

The view from the top was nice. The peak was surrounded by a number of lakes, lake Kaleetan, lake Chair peak, Snow lake, lake Melakwa, ... As I am also preparing a winter circumnav of Chair peak so this view from the top of Kaleetan is very informative to plan the winter ski tour.

The way down was tricky due to a lot of loose rocks. So be careful if you are solo, or if you do not bring helmet.

A lot of bugs on the trail!!!

I solo hiked this section going SOBO in early July. With luck I had amazing weather each day, but still had to cross several snow fields even in July. This section offered lots of ups and downs with many switchbacks, scree with several stream ford crossings.

hiking
26 days ago

Todd, I just did Kaleetan today and can give you some hints. If you want to to the west ridge route, cross the log over Lake Melakwa's discharge stream. There will be an old sign on a tree pointing to the left that says "toilet" follow that trail to the second sign. Go to the right of the tree and continue on the trail to the first little summit. After the second summit it drops down the western side a couple of hundred feet before continuing to Kaleetan. Along the way you will come to a saddle just before the scramble section. That is where the gully from the other route; going up the valley past Upper Lake Melakwa, joins the trail. I mistakenly returned that route and wouldn't do it again. At the bottom of the gully is a short cliff that needs to be carefully navigated and I was solo. The scree fields below the gully are steep, loose and no trail that I could find down to the lake. It took a lot more effort rock hopping than the ridge route would have taken.

backpacking
26 days ago

Made the trip up to Gem Yesterday 7/25. Started at 7 am and the parking lot was 10 cars deep already. The ascent to snow lake is pretty easy. Some blasted switch backs towards the top. Snow lake was beautiful and understandable why it’s so popular for the ease to get there. Pushing past snow lake is when the challenge starts. You cross multiple tarns with large bolder fields resembling a tundra. My dog loved cooling off in each one we passed since it was nearing the mid 80’s as the morning crept on. Don’t forget to stop and take in the view of snow lake as you near closer to Gem. The last section to Gem lake should be proceeded with caution due to the loose boulder field you have to scramble. The lake was beautiful but the effort in my opinion wasn’t worth it. My dog and I went for a quick swim in the lake which I thought was the perfect temperature but we left within the hour since the biting flies and bees were so bad by the waters edge. The climb down became heavily packed with day hikers. We passed at least 20 groups of people. Please remember to pack out your trash... ( i found a brown bag on a cliff side filled with trash and had to tie it to the outside of my bag ) and don’t relieve yourself within a few hundred feet of the trail. Utterly disgusted at some individuals choices. If you’re looking for seclusion, look elsewhere in the alpine lake wilderness. Great hike with amazing views, but will definitely be avoiding this trail head from now on.

hiking
27 days ago

Was pleasantly surprised with this hike today. Left the trailhead at 6:30am and made our way up to Silver Peak. Loved being on the PTC. Be careful to watch your mileage or you might miss the trail to Silver Peak at 1.7 miles. Lots of great views, Mt Rainer was majestic today. Only two things that were a pain were the bugs and the road up to the trailhead.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with stunning views, but....the mosquitos were a horrible annoyance. Wear bug spray and long sleeves- we were constantly swarmed by mosquitos the last 1.5 miles up. Other than the bugs, it was a beautiful hike with a fun final ascent to the peak.

hiking
1 month ago

Last bit of snow still clinging to the peaks but the sunny weekend led to amazing views. Last 1/3 of the hike is a pretty intense loose rock trail culminating in a bit of a scramble but it was worth it!

Great trail, and so close to home. Lots of wildflowers blooming, and you hear the sound of waterfalls almost all the way. Look for numerous waterfalls from snow runoff on the adjacent mountains. Not too much sun beating down; a lot of shady areas. A bit buggy, wear bug repellent if needed. Not too hard a hike for this nearly 64 year old, but definitely a workout. Make it to the lake and the reward is the view of the lake that still has ice in it

hiking
1 month ago

Okkkkk . . Need help . . We did not summit. Went to Melakwa Lake. There is boot path on the west side of Melakwa and on the east side of Upper Melakwa and it continues up the valley to the right shoulder of Kaleetan Peak. Couple of questions . . Is there another boot path that approaches the peak from the west side? If so, was it by the “toilet” Sign just before you get to Melakwa Lake? Anddd . . Is there a boot path to the summit going up the valley past Upper Melakwa Lake? We got to 5,220 ft at the eastern base of Kaleetan and turned around. See pic. Wildflowers are out . .I don’t think this trail has a great deal of wildflowers. Crazy scenic hike . . Highly recommend it. Snowshoe Falls along with Melakwa and Upper Melakwa Lake. There are No directional signs at Melakwa Lake. Very easy to get “lost.”

Not a bad trail but be ready for a climb. Also, both lakes were still frozen over, but melting. There was plenty of snow from snow lake, onwards. Better have a map and compass, but it’s worth the view!

1 month ago

Still too early for this hike. Snow on ground and rain in the sky kept me from the last scramble. Gorgeous wildflowers.

great hike. cool different terrains during hike

Took the trail up the commonwealth basin to Red Pass. From there I split off and climbed up the boot path to the top of Lower Lundin Peak instead. I had the entire summit to myself. If solitude and a solid hike are what you are looking for then this is the hike for you!

One of the hardest hikes of I've been on. The snow makes the trail really hard to find, had to get out a compass and map to get redirected. the lake still has ice and snow on it on some areas. totally worth it, breath taking views.

Attempted a SOBO training hike this past weekend and had to turn back despite my spikes. Hopefully the sun this week will help

1 month ago

Snow fields at higher elevations and a fair amount of water and exposed roots on trail. Consider micro spikes. Route finding skills will be handy. Not a dog friendly hike due to the scrambles toward the top. Road is clear. Be back in late summer.

Started at Lake Pratt trail head and hike the trail clockwise around the loop. Overall it was a beautiful hike. Trail was pretty crowded for the first couple miles but was isolated past Pratt. Hit snow coming over the ridge line. It was very steep and slow moving. Fell several times to spite my agility. Was also hard to navigate the trail because it’s clearly less trafficed and then with the snow... the snow lasted about a mile and once past that it was mostly downhill but lots of rocks. The last 3-4 miles were on road. Bring your crampons!

I hiked this a couple of years ago in July. The hike to snow lake was on the low end of moderate but the continued 3 mike round trip to Gem Lake was more difficult. Quite the scramble but in the end worth the quite, pristine, and crystal clear water!

skiing
2 months ago

Great tour to the saddle area below the peak. Road is open a good amount, with about 1/2-3/4 of mile to hike until you can skin for the rest of the time. Views at the top were stunning. Skiing was quality with good corn, it got soft by about noon.

There's still a lot of snow on this hike. A lot of people tried to start this but didn't have the right gear for it, so turned around. my friend and I were the only people on the trail the entire way. We only had spikes but snowshoes would have made it easier.Thankfully there were foot prints most of the way, wandering around was to a minimum. Once we reached the base of the mountain it got super steep. We continued on but at a couple hundred feet to the summit, we stopped because it felt too dangerous (for us) to continue on. The climb down was really difficult and very slow going. Slipped once or twice and had to use the trees to stop us. Might not be too bad if you were planning to ski down, but walking down, a little scary! I'd save this hike when there is no snow. But, the views, breathtaking!

I went summer July/2017 and we started 6am and when we come down so many people was come up. suggest early start better!

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