Explore the most popular camping 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.

Beautiful Loved it

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!

hiking
11 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.

The views from the top are amazing!

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.

backpacking
20 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.

on Talapus Lake Trail

27 days ago

Pretty lake. Easy hike, lots of roots but the trail is easy to follow.

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

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!

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Lovely, well maintained trail. My teenage daughter, dog, and I did this hike 7/5. No bugs, jumped in the lake! Cold but crystal clear and refreshing. Did not continue on to the next lake 1.2 miles up due to time constraints. Round trip was 2 hours including a 20-30 minute stop at the lake. Will definitely do again.

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

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!

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

Just beautiful!! Perfect sunny day for a short hike. Microspikes are recommended on this hike as 2/3 is icy and snowy.

snowshoeing
8 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous when frozen...

hiking
9 months ago

Plenty of snow. Fun hike with friend and 2 dogs. Nice lake, clear and quiet. The refection on the water was beautiful. The trail could be slippery, so grab your ice cleats!

9 months ago

Great, rocky hike! I went on Tuesday and arrived at 11:30. My dog and I made our way up to snow lake alright (dog + scrambles = struggle) but had a tough time on the descent towards the lake: beware of ice. Thank you to whomever did that!

We got to gem lake by around 2:30. Wasn't super impressed and if you're tired at snow lake, I would recommend just turning back. If you want a nice challenge definitely do the extra mile! I honestly would not have found just the hike to snow lake challenging, but the hike to gem lake was beautiful, confusing at times, and pretty challenging at the tail end! We got back to the car by 4:30 for a total of 5 hours. I took breaks infrequently and did not take long at either lake, but I was slowed down by my dog on the way back due to all the rocks.

hiking
9 months ago

This hike was nice with the exception of the crowds. I tend to avoid hiking along I 90 due to these crowds but its been a long time since I have done this hike. I dont think I ever went all the way to Gem Lake though. I dont think the hike is hard as they say as it feed constant with the elevation gain. There were way too many people for a late October weekend even if it was sunny. I would really hate to be here in the summer. With all the people it was very time consuming returning to the car. The trail was good with only a few patches of ice today. Great hike for families, newbies and apparently those in sneakers. I wouldnt return due to the crowds as there are so many other places to go. Its worth the trip if you can avoid the crowds. Dont be a weenie and only go to Snow Lake, continue on to Gem Lake as its the best of the two.

on Gem Lake Trail

10 months ago

Originally we went to snowlake but decided why not let try gem... I enjoyed the other side of snowlake and the light dusting of now was a nice surprise!!! 10/8/17

hiking
10 months ago

9.2 miles total. New to Washington and Washington hiking, but I have done close to a dozen hikes in this state and this hike was for sure my favorite. I think the fall colors made it. Also, I would say the hike to gem is overall moderate, not hard. I went off the trail a few times by accident on my way up to gem, but when I referred to AllTrails I was able to find my way back to the trail. I was able to stay on the trail during the descent.

hiking
10 months ago

Well worth extending from Snow Lake for. Gorgeous.

backpacking
10 months ago

Hiked into Gem Lake for an overnight backpacking trip, it was cold, misty, with cloud bands moving in and out constantly Monday, Tuesday morning we awoke to bright sunshine just pushing up over the ridge and heavy dew. We fished unsuccessfully for awhile before making the push out to the parking lot. Tough hike - but well worth the effort as the reward is stunning scenery.

10 months ago

Great moderate day hike. Definitely worth going past snow lake and making it to Gem Lake.

hiking
10 months ago

Beutful hike , it is very hard to Gem lake but well worth it

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful hike through the pines to a clear and quiet lake!

hiking
11 months ago

A short scramble from Gem Lake. The turn off from Gem Lake is not marked, but there is an obvious trail on the NE side of the lake that leads to some campsites. Past the campsites there is a boot path leading up the east side of Wright Mtn. I lost the path in a few places once reaching the talus slopes but there were a few cairns to keep me heading in the right direction. Great 360° views from the top including Chair and Kaleetan Peaks towering over Snow and Gem Lakes.

a lot of up and down along this trail. We did it backwards but it was a great hike.

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