Backpacking Washington's Alpine Lakes Wilderness
by Jeff Smoot (Falcon Guides)
© Jeff Smoot/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
The trail between the Trail head and Big Creek falls is wide, slow rise and very pleasant. The may small streams and Big Creek Falls are pretty. This portion of the trail is featured in a 'Hiking with your Dog' book and there were a number of groups taking advantage this.
Once past Big Creek falls it is about 1 mile to the Snoqualmie Lake Trailhead. From there the trail; becomes more difficult. I encountered a great deal of blowdown (much of this was cleared by the time I did the return trip). The climb is moderate to challenging to an intermediate level hiker - sometimes following stream beds, talus areas (follow the rock pile markers). Maps do not show the switchbacks that veer away from the river. Once at the lake the view was beautiful and well worth the effort. Deer Lake and Bear Lake offer somewhat more secluded campsites.
Trail is well maintained and a fairly easy if uneventful hike for the first five miles. The last 2 miles to snoqualmie lake are quite challenging and the trail runs over a number of stream beds and rock quarry which are somewhat hard to manage with your 35 pound pack. The view when you get to lake is beautiful and if you are willing to continue on to bear and deer lake the campsites seemed much more secluded.
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