Amazing views on your way up. Great fishing at the lake. Campsites surrounding the lake. Trail is well maintained for the first 5.1 miles. Creeks and open spaces for picnics. Lack of crowds and Peace and Quiet. Overnight trip, day trip, or weekend trip.

Driving Directions:

From Seattle drive east on I-90 to exit 54 (signed "Hyak"). Turn left (north) under the freeway and right on the frontage road marked "Gold Creek." After about 0.5 mile turn left (north) on Gold Creek Road (Forest Road 4832), and in another 0.5 mile reach a junction. To the left is the Gold Creek Pond area--parking is available there if the road ahead is gated. If the gate is open continue straight ahead and stop at the next gate, about 0.7 mile farther on (steer clear of the private roads and driveways that branch off the main road).

Coordinates: 47.4011, -121.3738

Parking spaces are always available. When you get started, don't get confused like I did while walking on Pavement on the Gold Creek Pond trail. Follow this for about 1/2 mile. Then, the trail breaks off to Gold Creek Trail. After about another 1/3 of a mile you will hit a gravel road and follow the signs for about 1 mile to the trailhead. Be sure to stay on the road as it is surrounded by private property owners.

When you finally hit the trail, you might be thinking ok, lets get this hike on the way! Not so fast. The trail is well maintained and you will only gain an elevation of 500 feet from the beginning of the trail to the turn off to at Alaska Lake at 5.1 miles. At this point you will find your first Karen and a rock marked in black with the letter A, and an arrow on which way to go.

But in the meantime, you can get spectacular views of Red Mountain and the backside of the Pacific Crest Trail North Section J. There are a few creeks on the way to stop and take a break and enjoy the silence. On my way up to Alaska Lake, I only ran into 2 people. On my way back out the following day, I only ran into 2 people again.

The Last mile to the lake is a scramble on a trail that is NOT maintained. You have to find the Karen's thru the rocky areas. You will do an elevation gain of 1100 feet during the last mile. But, going up, you'll have lush greens and views of the surrounding mountains.

When you hit the lake, there area campsites, where you can stay surrounding the lake for great views. There are also larger group campsites available too.

Fishing is a must at the lake!

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • 3 changes of clothes, One for on the day trip up, one for sleeping and one for the hike back out.
  • Beef Jerky
  • Cheese
  • Corn Nuts
  • Dried Fruit
  • Platypus Gravity Works Pump Free Mircofilter system
  • Bring a camera for stunning pics of the lake and the area
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Activities Camping, Fishing, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

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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