West Fork Foss Lakes Trail

Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, Washington

Distance6.9mi
Elevation Gain5,539ft
Trailhead Elevation1,639ft
Top4,927ft
Elevation Min/Max1639/4927ft
Elevation Start/End1639/1639ft

West Fork Foss Lakes Trail

West Fork Foss Lakes Trail is a hiking trail in King County, Washington. It is within Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. It is 6.9 miles long and begins at 1,639 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 14.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 5,539 feet. Near the trailhead there are restrooms and parking. Along the trail there are a viewpoint and camp sites. This trail connects with the following: Chetwoot Lake Trail and Lake Malachite Trail.

West Fork Foss Lakes Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Backpacking Washington's Alpine Lakes Wilderness (Falcon Guides)
Jeff Smoot
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"A popular trail linking a group of alpine lakes above the West Fork Foss River. West Fork Foss River Trail is popularly known as Foss Lakes Trail, since it leads to five alpine lakes set among the granite ridges and peaks above West Fork Foss River. Whatever you call it, this is a popular hike, at least as far as Copper Lake. The crowds seem to thin exponentially as the views expand the farther up the trail you go. Too bad for those who stop at Trout or Copper Lakes; each lake in succession is more lovely than the last. Pity even those who stop at trail’s end; there are many wild lakes beyond Big Heart Lake." Read more
100 Classic Hikes Washington (The Mountaineers Books)
Craig Romano
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"Tucked in big basins and rocky cirques high above the West Fork Foss River is a bevy of big, beautiful alpine lakes—one of the highest concentrations of alpine lakes within the entire 400,000-plus-acre Alpine Lakes Wilderness; you can spend weeks here. Day hiking is possible to some of the lakes, but it’s a tough slog over rough terrain, making fast-packing trail running a challenge. Much of the way is over rock—lots of rock. Day hiking is possible to The way then brushes up alongside the West some of the lakes, but it’s a tough slog over rough Fork Foss River, crossing it on a bridge at 0.9 terrain, making fast-packing trail running a chal-mile. Now continue upvalley, passing some of lenge." Read more

West Fork Foss Lakes Trail Reviews

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7/24/2009
This trip takes it out of you; there is a lot of incline. I ran into about 6-7 other groups of people as it seems to be a pretty popular trail for a day hike. Depending on your hiking speed you can make it to big heart in a day, but you'll be traveling fast. There are a lot of view points and wild flowers along the way to keep in interesting. Just remember to travel light.
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9/29/2005
This is an amazing trail on a cool day. The trail starts out as a gentle river bed trail and then begins to ascend and ascend up seemingly endless switchbacks. But, they are beautiful - a roaring waterfall to accomany you and gold and red arched maple vines encourage you to keep going. Don't miss Lake Malachite - because it's easy to! A small wooden sign sends you up a .3 mile heckofa climb to one of the most beautiful lakes I've seen in my life. This was possibly my tenth trip to this lake, and I know it will be a sad year that I don't make the climb to Lake Malachite.
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West Fork Foss Lakes Trail Photos

Trail Information

Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area
Nearby City
Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Mount Baker–Snoqualmie NF, Skykomish Ranger District, Skykomish
Local Contacts
Green Trails, Alpine Lakes Stevens Pass No. 176S
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018