Pete Lake Trail

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington

Elevation Gain495ft
Trailhead Elevation2,817ft
Elevation Min/Max2796/2922ft
Elevation Start/End2817/2817ft

Pete Lake Trail

Pete Lake Trail is a hiking, biking, and horse trail in Kittitas County, Washington. It is within Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. It is 2.6 miles long and begins at 2,817 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 5.2 miles with a total elevation gain of 495 feet. The Pete Lake Trailhead parking is near the trailhead.

Pete Lake Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"With little elevation gain, plenty of scenery, and a broad, sun-warmed forest lake at the end of the valley, this hike makes a great warm-up outing for you and your dog. Do it as a respectably long day hike or a gentle backpacking trip to shake out the kinks while practicing camping with the canine."

"With little elevation gain, plenty of scenery, and a broad, sun-warmed forest lake at the end of the valley, this hike makes a great warm-up outing for you and your kids. You can enjoy a refreshing swim in the lake before turning around and returning along the gentle forest trail.

This trail is essentially a continuation of the Cooper River Trail, as it follows the broad Cooper River valley upstream from Cooper Lake to its headwaters at Pete Lake."

"Large, woodland Pete Lake makes a popular family campsite at the end of a gentle trail through old-growth forest. Children will joyfully throw sticks and stones in three or four creeks along the way. At the lake, they can also wade and swim, because the water, while not warm, is also not ice cold. Because there is no special turnaround point, this hike is best for an overnight trip."

Pete Lake Trail Reviews

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A great hike for the entire family. I would recommend it to anyone looking for an easy hike with unique scenery (old growth trees) within a couple hours of Seattle. We selected it since it was raining in other old growth forest areas around Seattle (e.g. Mount Rainier). Since it is east of the Cascades, we had better weather. Initially, the trail goes along Cooper River with nice views up and down the riverbed. It then crosses several dried-up tributaries that feed into the river. It was a very enjoyable walk with cool temperatures, dense plant life, varying ecosystems and endless numbers of old growth trees. Plus, we had never seen so many different mushrooms – white, yellow, brown, orange and purple! You pass several areas that are prime for individual and group campsites. Once you get close to Pete Lake, you turn the corner and see two enormous old growth trees. They were truly spectacular and really stood out. Great photo opportunity. Pete Lake was a perfect ending spot with a large campsite area and places to eat lunch down by the water. Spectacular views of the distant mountains leading up to the peaks of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Very peaceful and no one around. Oh, and you pass through Roslyn to get to the trailhead. It is a pretty cool tiny old town to visit for a quick beer, burger or donut!
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We chose this trail for an overnight backpacking trip after consulting our copy of "Best Hikes with Dogs in Western Washington" by Dan Nelson. We picked up the Green Trails map to amplify Nelson's narrative, a must we learned on a previous hike in the Olympics. The trailhead is about 25 miles in from the town of Roslyn (the set for "Northern Exposure"), and only half is paved. Also, get your Northwest Forest Pass before you go...this will save you time as you transit in. The drive is pretty, with meadows and streams lining it. Since we had a late start, we climbed 2.5 miles/1000' to Squaw Lake and set up camp. We had a view of Cathedral Rock, but if you walk further south/left around the lake, there is a great campsite tucked in the trees providing beautiful views of the mountain range. (We didn't discover this until the next day!) The trail was very dusty and dry, so bring lots of water. The next morning we left our site and hiked another 2 miles/1200' up to Cathedral Rock. It was a modest climb, and we encountered many vistas, tarns, and meadows along the way. We were trying to find Peggy's Pond, but ended up scaling Cathedral Rock as far as we could climb. It turns out that you should head down toward Deep Lake and then traverse. But from our vantage point, we had glacier views as well as Mt. Rainier in the far distance. This trail is open to and used by horses, but our dog had a wonderful time exploring the forest. There were lots of bees, but the only other critters we encountered were gray jays and a field mouse. Also along the shores of Squaw Lake, we picked huckleberries for our oatmeal. I highly recommend this trail for an overnight...we're looking forward to doing it again!

Pete Lake Trail Photos

Trail Information

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Nearby City
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Skill Level
Additional Use
Okanogan–Wenatchee National Forest, Cle Elum Ranger District
Local Contacts
Green Trails Kachess Lake No. 208
Local Maps