Outbound Collective logo

10 Spectacular hikes in Washington's Snoqualmie Pass

Head out on some of the best trails in the PNW in the unique area around Snoqualmie Pass.

By: Grant Thomas + Save to a List

Snoqualmie Pass is one of my favorite areas in the state. Not only does it have the mountains, forests, and lakes that Washington is known for, it's also home to some incredible waterfalls like Snoqualmie Falls! If you’re in Washington, visit Snoqualmie Pass and go on these 10 spectacular hikes.

1. Franklin Falls

A tall waterfall falls over dark rocks. A person is silhouetted standing in front of the bottom of the falls.
Photo: Michael Matti

Destination: 2.07 miles
Elevation: 331 feet
Type: Out-and-back

If you like ‘bang for your buck,’ Franklin Falls is the hike for you. The two-mile round-trip hike is perfect for children and families, and the falls at the end of the trail are very impressive. When the water levels are lower, you can walk to the base of the falls. The cool spray is welcome on a sunny summer day! 

2. Lodge Lake

A perfectly calm mountain lake reflects the evergreen trees and mountain along the shore.
Photo: Grant Thomas

Destination: 3.79 miles
Elevation: 932 feet
Type: Out-and-back

Another short but rewarding hike, Lodge Lake, sits on Snoqualmie Mountain, a popular skiing area. Follow the trail as it winds underneath ski lifts to reach the lake. You'll be surrounded by wildflowers if you go here in the summer. This is a fantastic hike for many children and families.

3. Snoqualmie Mountain

Looking down a mountain ridge with a huge range of mountains surrounding it.
Photo: Michael Matti

Destination: 2.87 miles
Elevation: 3,054 feet
Type: Out-and-back

Snoqualmie Mountain is home to some incredible mountain views. At the top of the 6,240-foot summit, you can spot a few of the hikes mentioned in this post, such as Snow Lake. Don’t forget to bring drinking water on this hike. You’ll need it when climbing more than 3,000 feet in just 3 miles! 

4. Snoqualmie Falls

A wide waterfall flows over rocks into a teal pool. The water is surrounded by evergreen trees.
Photo: Michael Gabbert

Destination: 1.4 miles
Elevation: 509 feet
Type: Out-and-back

By far the most popular attraction in the Snoqualmie area, Snoqualmie Falls is a must-visit. The massive 270-foot waterfall is a very popular destination for photographers and tourists. 

The viewing area up top is nice, but for a different angle of Snoqualmie Falls, follow the short trail down to the lower viewing area. While you can no longer walk down to the base of the falls, I still highly recommend stopping and visiting one of the most popular waterfalls in Washington. 

5. Snow Lake

A lake surrounded by tall, snowy mountains and evergreen trees.
Photo: Austin Johnson

Destination: 6.24 miles
Elevation: 1,699 feet
Type: Out-and-back

Only an hour from Seattle, Snow Lake is one of the most popular hikes in the Snoqualmie region. However, don’t let the number of people stop you from visiting this gem of a lake! 

Snow Lake is also a popular winter hike, so if you plan to tackle this adventure in the snow, make sure to have snowshoes or micro-spikes! 

6. Granite Mountain

A firetower sits among rocks on a mountainside.
Photo: Casey Sullivan

Destination: 7.92 miles
Elevation: 3,999 feet
Type: Out-and-back

While this area is prone to frequent winter avalanches, Granite Mountain is a great summer hike. It is also one of the only places in the area home to an old fire lookout tower. Take this nearly 8-mile hike to enjoy the incredible views and see the unique structure.

7. Ira Spring Trail – Mason Lake

A clear lake sits at the edge of rocks and evergreen trees. The water is clear and there are submerged logs.
Photo: Scott Kranz

Destination: 6.88 miles
Elevation: 2,316 feet
Type: Out-and-back

Mason Lake is gorgeous, and the trail up to Mason Lake may be the most talked about part of your hike. At about 2.5 miles in, you'll reach a magnificent meadow and boulder field. When the wildflowers bloom in the summer, the meadows are truly a sight to see. 

8. Lillian Lake

A perfectly clear lake reflects rocks and trees around it. The water is so clear the bottom rocks are visible.
Photo: Warren Behymer

Destination: 8.36 miles
Elevation: 2.969 feet
Type: Out-and-back

If you're looking to escape the crowds, Lake Lillian is the hike for you. Hike this trail in a day or stay the night and camp. 

Camping here is awesome, as the campsites are large and the likeliness of seeing other people is low.

9. Annette Lake

A teal lake is surrounded by evergreen trees and a snowy mountain.
Photo: Mikaela Tangeman

Destination: 7.2 miles
Elevation: 1,923 feet
Type: Out-and-back

My favorite hike in the entire Snoqualmie area, Annette Lake, is the perfect intermediate hike. With plenty of switchbacks, the 1,500 feet of elevation gain will definitely give your legs a good workout. 

Don’t sweat it (no pun intended). If you get too hot, you can take a dip in the icy, turquoise lake at the top. If you choose not to swim, grab a seat on the shore and take in the spectacular mountains framing the gorgeous lake.

10. Melakwa Lake

A perfectly calm lake reflects the evergreen trees and mountains behind it.
Photo: Scott Kranz

Destination: 8.84 miles
Elevation: 2,615 feet
Type: Out-and-back

With over 2,300 feet of elevation, Melakwa Lake is no walk in the park. The nearly 9-mile trail, which starts from nearly the same trailhead as the previously mentioned Franklin Falls, is difficult, but the two lakes at the top are worth it. 

If the main lake is busy with too many people, continue following the trail around the edge of the lake. You’ll soon find yourself at the smaller, but much more secluded Upper Melakwa Lake. 

If you ever find yourself on the West side of Washington make sure to check out Snoqualmie Pass. With gorgeous hikes suitable for all ages and skill levels, it is truly a hiker’s paradise!

Cover photo: Michael Matti

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Do you love the outdoors?

Yep, us too. That's why we send you the best local adventures, stories, and expert advice, right to your inbox.


Spectacular Cascade Views from the Lunch Counter on Mt Adams

Jennifer Carr

Reflecting on Why We Backpack: Exploring the North Cascades

Jenna Mulligan

What are the chances I shit myself today?

Tara Suppes

5 Questions to Answer Before Going Hammock Backpacking

Addison Klinke

Washington’s 10 Best Last-Minute Backpacking Destinations

Rachel Davidson