10 Spectacular Hikes In Washington's Snoqualmie Pass

Head out on some of the best trails in the PNW.

By: Grant Thomas

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The state of Washington is widely known for its incredible hikes. With stunning mountain ranges, dense forests, and many impressive lakes, there is certainly no shortage of beautiful areas to be explored. One of my favorite areas in Washington is Snoqualmie Pass. Not only is it home to the mountains, forests, and lakes that Washington is known for, it is also home to some incredible waterfalls! So, if you’re in Washington, make sure to visit Snoqualmie Pass and go on at least a few of these 10 spectacular hikes.

1. Franklin Falls

Photo: Michael Matti

If you’re the type of person who likes some ‘bang for your buck’, then Franklin Falls is the hike for you. The two-mile hike (round trip) is perfect for children and families and the falls at the end of the trail is very impressive. When the water levels are lower you can walk to the base of the falls. The cool spray is much welcomed on a sunny summer day! Learn more.

2. Lodge Lake

Photo: Grant Thomas

Another short but rewarding hike, Lodge Lake sits on Snoqualmie Mountain, a popular skiing area in the winter. To reach the lake simply follow the trail as it winds itself underneath ski lifts. If you go in the summer, you’ll find yourself surrounded by wildflowers. Being just 3 miles roundtrip, this is also a fantastic hike for children, families, or for anyone looking for an easier hike. Learn more.

3. Snoqualmie Mountain

Photo: Michael Matti

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

4. Snoqualmie Falls

Photo: Michael Gabbert

By far the most popular attraction in the Snoqualmie area, Snoqualmie Falls is a must-visit if you’re in the area. The massive 270 waterfall is a very popular destination for photographers and tourists alike. The viewing area up top is nice, but for a different angle of the falls, follow the short trail down to the lower viewing area. While you can no longer walk down to the base of the falls like you once could, I still highly recommend making the stop and visiting the most popular waterfall in all of Washington. Learn more.

5. Snow Lake

Photo: Stephen Bellrichard

Only an hour from Seattle, Snow Lake is one of the most popular hikes in the Snoqualmie region. However, don’t let the amount 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! Learn more.

6. Granite Mountain

Photo: Casey Sullivan

While this area is prone to frequent avalanches in the winter, Granite Mountain is a great hike to embark on during the summer months. It is also one of the only places in the area that is home to an old fire lookout tower which, along with the stellar views, makes this hike well worth your time. Learn more.

7. Ira Spring Trail – Mason Lake

Photo: Scott Kranz

While Mason Lake itself is gorgeous, the trail up to Mason Lake is incredibly scenic and may be the most talked about part of your hike when it’s all said and done. At about 2.5 miles into the hike you reach a magnificent meadow and boulder field. When the wildflowers are all blooming in the summer the meadows are truly a sight to see. Learn more.

8. Lillian Lake

Photo: Warren Behymer

If you're looking to escape the crowds then Lake Lillian is the hike for you. Camping here is a great option as the campsites are large and the likeliness of seeing other people is low. The trail can also be done as a day hike, as it is only 9 miles round trip, which makes this a great option for a hiking trip. Learn more.

9. Annette Lake

Photo: Mikaela Tangeman

My favorite hike in the entire Snoqualmie area, Annette Lake is the perfect intermediate hike. With plenty of switchbacks, the 1500 feet of elevation gain will definitely give your legs a good workout. But 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, just grab a seat on the shore and take in the spectacular mountains that frame the gorgeous lake. Learn more.

10. Melakwa Lake

Photo: Scott Kranz

With over 2,300 feet of elevation, Melakwa Lake is no walk in the park. The 9 mile trail, which actually 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 make sure to 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. Learn more.

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

Cover photo: Michael Matti

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.