• Activities:

    Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    11 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    2300 Feet

Forest
Lake
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

Enjoy stunning views of PNW mountains and forest as well as multiple mountain lakes.

This overnight hike is definitely a challenge with 2,300 feet of elevation gain but all that huffing and puffing will be worth it when you reach the beautiful Pratt Lake Basin.

The trail can be a bit busy in the first mile but most of the traffic is from day hikers on their way up the popular Granite Mountain Trail. After you pass the turnoff to the right, the crowds thin and you are offered several beautiful creek crossings - be careful at these spots in the spring, they can be dangerous with high waters. After about four miles, you will be welcomed to beautiful views of Olallie Lake below and the North Cascade Mountains in the distance. A little further on, a right at a fork in the trail will take you down steep switchbacks and a talus field into Pratt Lake Basin.

Once you reach the lake, it’s just a half a mile more around the edge of the lake to the campsites on the far side of the lake. Dip your tired feet in the chilly waters and enjoy the view! Depending on the time of year and weather, be prepared for some mosquitoes and stretches of exposure to the sun. Bug juice and sunscreen are always a necessary part of your backpacking kit!

The Nitty Gritty:Northwest Forest Pass and a free Alpine Lakes Wilderness Permit are required. The Northwest Forest Pass can be purchased at the trailhead or at the Snoqualmie Pass Fire Service Visitor Center. The free Alpine Lakes Wilderness Permit is available at the trailhead.

Directions: From Seattle, head east on I-90, take exit 47 and drive left over the freeway. Take a left at the T to the Pratt Lake/Granite Mountain parking area. This parking lot can be very busy on summer weekends so it's best to arrive early to secure a spot.

Photos: Monty VanderBilt, Laura Howard

Pack List

  • The Ten Essentials
  • Quality, waterproof hiking shoes/boots
  • Tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad
  • Camp stove and hearty food
  • Bug repellent
  • Camp shoes and an extra dry shirt
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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

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Reviews

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jhhkjh hjkhkjh

about 2 years ago
about 2 years ago

Pratt lake was my first camping destination in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Definitely plan enough time to get to lake to set up camp! We left late, with heavy bags and ended up camping at Olallie lake and day-hiking out to Pratt and lower and upper Tuschohochie lakes. I liked Olallie better in the end, but it is always better to end up where intended! This whole area is awesome - beware early season mosquitoes!

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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