Rachel Lake Trail

Easton, Washington

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The outstanding beauty of this exquisite alpine lake carved from the side of Rampart Ridge draws hundreds of hikers, many with small children, every summer weekend. Yet this is one of the toughest-to-walk trails in the Cascades and definitely not for inexperienced hikers. The way is clearly marked but be prepared for rocks, roots, mud, and crawl-over logs. Adults and older kids frequently do Rachel Lake as a day hike, but it’s better as a 3-day trip. Carry a stove because campfires are prohibited at all lakes. Numerous campsites are scattered on both sides of the outlet stream. If your children (and you) survive the trail to Rachel Lake, the middle day of a three-day trip can be the best. From the lake outlet, climb the boot-beaten trail to the right, ascending 600 feet up the very steep mountainside to the broad saddle between Rampart Ridge and Alta Mountain. Take the trail left for an up-and-down ½ mile to Rampart Lakes, a magnificent chain of tarns set in glacier-scoured bedrock bowls. Children can wade, swim, and throw rocks; parents can sketch or take photos.
Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes with Kids: Western Washington & the Cascades

by Joan Burton (The Mountaineers Books)

The outstanding beauty of this exquisite alpine lake carved from the side of Rampart Ridge draws hundreds of hikers, many with small children, every summer weekend. Yet this is one of the toughest-to-walk trails in the Cascades and definitely not for inexperienced hikers. The way is clearly marked but be prepared for rocks, roots, mud, and crawl-over logs. Adults and older kids frequently do Rachel Lake as a day hike, but it’s better as a 3-day trip. Carry a stove because campfires are prohibited at all lakes.

Numerous campsites are scattered on both sides of the outlet stream. If your children (and you) survive the trail to Rachel Lake, the middle day of a three-day trip can be the best. From the lake outlet, climb the boot-beaten trail to the right, ascending 600 feet up the very steep mountainside to the broad saddle between Rampart Ridge and Alta Mountain. Take the trail left for an up-and-down ½ mile to Rampart Lakes, a magnificent chain of tarns set in glacier-scoured bedrock bowls. Children can wade, swim, and throw rocks; parents can sketch or take photos.

©  Joan Burton/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Easton
Distance: 8
Elevation Gain: 1,900 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: Day hike or backpack
Season: July-October
Trailhead Elevation: 2,800 feet
Top Elevation: 4,700 feet
Local Contacts: Wenatchee National Forest, Cle Elum Ranger District
Local Maps: Green Trails No. 207 Snoqualmie Pass; USGS Chikamin Peak
Driving Directions: Directions to Rachel Lake Trail

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Apr 2018