Snowshoe to Rachel Lake

Rate this Adventure Washington Rachel Lake Trail

Added by Randy Gordon

Embark on an adventure into the pristine Alpine Lakes Wilderness and reward yourself with the sound of rushing waterfalls, terrific views of the Box Canyon and the scenery of an alpine lake.

Begin at the Rachel Lake Trailhead and fill out the registry with your individual/group information.

As you start the hike heading Northwest towards the lake itself, the trail begins to steadily climb from its initial elevation of 2500 feet. Once you cross the Alpine Lake Wilderness sign, the path levels off and you will find that roughly the first half of the trek is a relatively moderate ascent.

Gently stroll through the old growth forest and avalanche meadows of the Box Canyon. A little after the first mile, take a moment to catch your breath at the side of a glorious series of small waterfalls just off to the left side of the trail. Continue onward through avalanche fields but keep your eyes to the North as great views of Hillbox Mountain and the surrounding area await.

Just before the 3 mile mark, the trail significantly changes. Prepare to begin an uphill climb of 1200 feet in the final mile of the adventure. Although challenging, the rewarding scenery is well worth it. During this stretch, don't forget to look behind you! Stunning views of the Box Canyon will captivate your vision.

After 3.3 miles you will cross in front of a beautiful cascading waterfall which will likely be running light or frozen depending on the conditions. Grab a snack and a drink in preparation to complete the remaining 0.7 miles.

Once you reach Rachel Lake you will find you self memorized by the alpine beauty.

As with all winter recreation, take proper precautionary and safety actions seriously. Be prepared for the elements, check the mountain weather report, carry the 10 essentials, use correct judgement and error on the side of caution.

For the Spring through Autumn hike, check here.

Pack List

  • Northwest Forest Pass
  • Snowshoes
  • Waterproof hiking boots
  • Trekking poles
  • Microspikes
  • Proper clothing
  • Adequate food and water
  • 10 essentials
  • Camera
Read More

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



Hiking, Photography, Snowshoeing

Skill Level:




Trail Type:



8 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2100 Feet


Dog Friendly

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Added by Randy Gordon

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