Surprise Lake

Skykomish, Washington

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For such an obscure trailhead, the way up to Surprise Lake (and beyond) gets a lot of foot traffic. This probably has to do with the trail’s proximity to Surprise Creek (along with its many waterfalls) and the large number of campsites at the lake. Numerous avalanche chutes provide prime wildflower viewing in spring, and views upcanyon from the lake to cliffs and crags are very impressive. More adventurous hikers can hook up with the Pacific Crest Trail to points farther north or south, create a backpacking loop with Deception Creek (Forest Service Trail 1059), or utilize many other trails on a multiday excursion to reach Salmon La Sac (car shuttle needed).

Surprise Lake Professional Review and Guide

"For such an obscure trailhead, the way up to Surprise Lake (and beyond) gets a lot of foot traffic. This probably has to do with the trail’s proximity to Surprise Creek (along with its many waterfalls) and the large number of campsites at the lake. Numerous avalanche chutes provide prime wildflower viewing in spring, and views upcanyon from the lake to cliffs and crags are very impressive.

More adventurous hikers can hook up with the Pacific Crest Trail to points farther north or south, create a backpacking loop with Deception Creek (Forest Service Trail 1059), or utilize many other trails on a multiday excursion to reach Salmon La Sac (car shuttle needed)."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Skykomish
Distance: 8
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 5 to 6 hours
Season: Spring, summer, and fall
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Alpine Lakes Protection Society (ALPS), www.alpinelakes.org. Mount Baker– Snoqualmie National Forest, Skykomish Ranger District, 74920 NE Stevens Pass Hwy., PO Box 305, Skykomish, WA 98288; (360) 677- 2414; www.fs.usda.gov/mbs.
Local Maps: USGS Scenic
Driving Directions: Directions to Surprise Lake

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May 2018