Winter Camping at Snow Lake

7.2 Miles Round Trip - 1800 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Snow Lake Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Andrew Sporrer

Snow Lake isn't an easy hike in good conditions, but if you've got the equipment and experience and are looking for a colder way to enjoy the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, winter camping here is truly unforgettable.

Starting at the Snow Lake Trail Head you climb up the boot pack or ski track of those before you (hopefully) from ~3120 ft. to ~4400 ft. at the ridge line where Snow Lake becomes visible. If there are no tracks, follow the South Fork Snoqualmie River NE and aim just east of the lowest point of the ridge line. Winter route finding may be necessary, so bring a compass, study the map, and have a contingency plan. Check the WTA site to bone up up before you head out: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/snow-lake-1

I was amazed at how dramatic the land scape was here. Chair Peak disappearing into the clouds, Snoqualmie Mountain standing over me bold and wide. This was my first real winter camping experience in the PNW and it was certainly one for the books.

Once you reach the ridge you've got three options and assessing them at this point is best because it's hard to tell how long the ~2.5 miles will take and how good you'll be feeling. You can: 1.) head down to the lake and set up camp on the east side and enjoy the crazy views of the valley to the north and peaks to the west and east; 2.) head down to the lake and follow the north brim of Snow Lake to Gem Lake which sits another +800 ft. up, there's a wonderful landing on the S/SW side for your camp site; or 3.) work your way east from the ridge to a landing at ~4440 ft. just below the western arm of Chair Peak for impressive views of the peaks immediately to the west.

Option 3 is easiest and is what we ended up doing this particular outing. If I had to do it again, I might push for Gem Lake, but it is easier said than done.

Definitely bring a camera and a tripod if the weather looks clear. You'll certainly want some good snaps to remember this trip by.

Tags

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Snowshoeing
Backpacking
Hiking
Forest
Lake
Scenic

Details

7.2 Miles
1800 ft elevation gain
Out-and-Back Trail

Stay Nearby

Carnation, Washington

Cascade Rose Alpaca Farm Stay

From $100/night

Leavenworth, Washington

LOGE Leavenworth

From $55/night

Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth / Pine Village KOA

Kent, Washington

Seattle / Tacoma KOA

Nearby Adventures

Hike to Gem Lake

10 Miles Round Trip - 1800 ft gain

Winter Backpack Below Chair Peak

6 Miles Round Trip - 1500 ft gain

Hike Snoqualmie Mountain

6 Miles Round Trip - 3100 ft gain

More Nearby Adventures

Tours

More Tours

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating:  Rate this Adventure

Have you done this adventure? Leave a review!