Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Region
by Dan A. Nelson (The Mountaineers Books)
© 2014 Dan A. Nelson/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.
Beautiful views! But be prepared to encounter many other hikers if you go on a summer weekend. I think we passed about 50 other hikers. Bring bug spray and wear sturdy shoes. The trail after the cut off is very rocky. After a cold summer, the waterfalls and creeks were working overtime giving beauty the whole way up.
60 minutes out of Seattle and you are up in the palm of the headwaters of the Snoqualmie River. The cut off from the main Snow Lake trail seems to have been redirected since the current trail guide was published. It is now posted as "Source Lake Overlook", just at the start of the switchbacks for Snow Lake. Instead of ending at lakeside, the trail end half way up the side of the granite bowl overlooking the lake. If you are up to a scramble you can still "dip your toes". The view from the overlook of the lake, peaks, waterfalls and the headwater valley are worth the walk.
Good boots, water and bug spray are in order. The numbers of people we passed without these essentials on the lower trail portion was astonishing. If you are hiking with small children this is not a great trail to start on unless you plan to take lots of time and plan to carry the little ones.
The next time we hike this trail will be in mid to late June. The dozen or so streams that feed into the lake will be in full flow from the snow runoff. According to a local Ranger, "The waterfalls are not to be missed".
Once off the Snow Lake trail we saw lots of birds, marmots and a Badger couple cooling their fur on a small snow field.
A very pleasant little "There an back again" and remains wilderness in part due to the Forest Service and the Source Lake Overlook Trail.
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