Hike to Rachel Lake

Washington Rachel Lake

Added by Scott Kranz

This hike has many great features: old-growth forest, rivers, waterfalls, and mountain views. The trail culminates at your end goal, a beautiful alpine lake, tucked below a mountain ridge

This hike is 8 miles roundtrip, with 1600 feet of elevation gain. Once you're on the trail, it starts heading uphill to help get your heart rate up on the hike. As you enter the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, the trail starts to level out. You'll cross a few streams and hike through a fair amount of vegetation, so if there's been recent rain or dew, prepare to get a little wet.

At a little shy of 3 miles, the trail starts to become more of an uphill climb again. In this part of the trail, there will be large step-ups, leading to an elevation gain of roughly 1200 feet in your last mile.

When you reach the lake, you'll see that there are several campsites if you're looking to make it an overnight adventure. Once at the lake, continue up Rampart Ridge for amazing views of Rachel Lake and the surrounding valley.

Pack List

  • Hiking gear
  • Backpacking gear if you're setting up camp
  • Camera
  • Northwest Forest pass (for parking at trailhead)
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Backpacking, Hiking, Photography, Swimming

Skill Level:



Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



8 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1600 Feet




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How to Get There


The hike is fantastic! The last mile is easily the most difficult part of the hike. Come prepared and start the hike early to maximize your time at the lake. The best places to camp are to the left once you get to the lake. The farther you go the better and more secluded the campsites are. It's a blast! Swimsuits are a must

2 months ago

2 months ago

Hike & Camp

Fantastic views. A good challenging hike with the lake as a reward for your efforts. In early August we experienced an onslaught of mosquitos and occasional biting flies. Take Picardin or Deet. Also experienced high winds at the lake, but the sites were worth the bites and windy conditions.

2 months ago

3 months ago

Excellent area To Explore

Have hiked all around this area and can't recommend it enough. Beautiful terrain for both day and overnighters. Great write up Scott!

3 months ago

Added by Scott Kranz

Seattle-based Adventurer, Photographer, and Writer

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