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Backpack to Gem Lake, WA

North Bend, Washington

4.7/5
based on 3 reviews

Details

Distance

10 miles

Elevation Gain

4850 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Description

Added by Felix Madrid

Be prepared for breathtaking sunsets that have the most amazing colors. With alpine views and Icy-blue water that you can actually swim in.

This hike shares the trailhead for Snow lake at the Alpental Ski area in Snoqualmie Pass. You'll start out with a great warm up, walking through dense green underbrush and a brief wooded area. Before too long the trail increases in inclination slightly and begins to offer up some small rocky sections where rock slides have created little obstacle courses. The accent continues to gradually steepen as you traverse a series of well maintained switchbacks. As you reach the top before descending into the Snow Lake basin you will get some epic views of Chair Peak to the west. Continuing on past Snow Lake, you travel through many small meadow areas as the trail steepens further. You will arrive on the SE shore of Gem Lake and be greeted with sapphire blue water and stunning views of sharp rock formations to the west. This hike lends itself to staying the night once you've reached the lake, and making the return trip the day after in order to experience sunset.

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Features

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Yoga
Swimming
Backpacking
Hiking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Reviews

We hiked this trail Fourth of July weekend and can confirm the first half of this hike is a human highway with a majority of people climbing up to Snow Lake. Past Snow Lake the trails open up and we only saw a few other groups of hikers. Absolutely stunning vistas and crystal clear lake water. If you go on a weekend I recommend hiking in early, and hiking out early to avoid the crowds. We made the mistake of hiking out in the afternoon and constantly had to pull off the trail for people coming the opposite direction. Overall great hike.

It's a very nice hike. A very well maintained and easy to follow trail. Beautiful views every which way. And the lakes sure are nice for a dip. But oh my super human highway ūüė≥. It might be a little too accessible for peace and quiet. I'm glad I did it, but I wouldn't do it again.

Great hike close to Seattle. Easy to get to and lots of parking. Great for a trail run or a hike, and the ability to stop at Snow Lake or continue to Wildcat Lakes and beyond makes this trip very versatile

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Nearby

Snow Lake

Hike to Kendall Katwalk via the PCT

Snoqualmie Mountain

Winter Backpack Below Chair Peak

Hike to Gem Lake

Climb the South Face of The Tooth