Rachel Lake Trail Professional Review and Guide
"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."