Snoqualmie Lake, Lake Dorothy Trailhead, Seattle - Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Snoqualmie Pass - Central Cascades, Washington
Snoqualmie Lake - 13.9 miles
Lake Dorothy Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||13.9 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||2,223' - 3,147' (3,848' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+924' net elevation gain (+3,228' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Snoqualmie Lake - 13.9 Miles Round-Trip
Snoqualmie Lake (3,147') is located 6.95 miles from Lake Dorothy Trailhead in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. This large, shapely lake is tucked in a deep bowl at the head of Taylor River. The Lake Dorothy Trail rises moderately to Lake Dorothy (1.5 miles), then steepens on rough, undulating terrain to Bear Lake (5.4 miles), Deer Lake (5.75 miles) and Snoqualmie Lake.
Crowds thin beyond Dorothy's inlet, where hikers and backpackers will find solitude in a deep woods setting. While overall grades are tame compared to others in the ALW, rugged tread and steep climbs in each direction are cumulatively taxing.
Snoqualmie Lake is also accessible from the Snoqualmie Lake Trailhead on Taylor River Road, a longer but milder approach on which bikes and horses are permitted for the first 6 miles:
The trail begins in a diverse low elevation forest with some notably large trees. It crosses the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Boundary (.35 miles) to a bridge over Camp Robber Creek (.6 miles : 2,525'), then steepens incrementally on reinforced log cribs to the Lake Dorothy outlet spur (1.45 miles : 3,074'). Follow signs left for Bear Lake.
The main trail continues up Dorothy's east side to the open inlet area. Much of this section runs above the lake in dense timber with limited views and access.
Conditions moderate past 2.75 miles with spurs to sandy strips and outcrops on the SE shore. The south end opens to interesting sluices, marshes and peninsulas. Look for water fowl, deer and osprey in this area. Tread lightly and use established paths when exploring sensitive habitat.
The trail arcs to the wide inlet stream (3.5 miles : 3,068'), which you'll have to wade / rock hop across. It undulates to the SW side (4.0 miles : 3,107') and steepens considerably to a ridge over the basin at the trail's highest point (5.0 miles : 3,848').
Here it officially (and seamlessly) becomes the Snoqualmie Lake Trail and drops to Bear Lake (5.4 miles : 3,610'). It weaves through big trees across a thin, divisive ridge to Deer Lake (5.75 miles : 3,583').
These adjacent, similar-looking lakes are ringed by thick woods that limit exploration, but hikers can follow boot tracks throughout the Bear-Deer basin to hidden campsites and open, isolated stretches of shore.
The trail rises past Deer Lake to a ridge over the Snoqualmie basin (6.25 miles : 3,470'), where a steep, shifting path dives through dense brush to a beach-like cove on Snoqualmie Lake (6.95 miles : 3,147').
Access off the main trail is otherwise limited, and you'll have to improvise a bit to see more of the lake. An unmarked spur at 6.55 miles leads to open space on the lake's main body, a worthwhile excursion.
- N47 36.525 W121 23.165 — 0.0 miles : Lake Dorothy Trailhead
- N47 36.138 W121 22.743 — .6 miles : Cross bridge over Camp Robber Creek
- N47 35.879 W121 22.816 — 1.0 miles : Steep climb on reinforced steps
- N47 35.963 W121 23.177 — 1.45 miles : Split for lake outlet access
- N47 35.536 W121 22.914 — 2.0 miles : Undulating travel along lake
- N47 35.189 W121 22.923 — 2.45 miles : Campsites
- N47 34.802 W121 22.658 — 3.0 miles : Shore opens to marshy wetlands
- N47 34.519 W121 22.589 — 3.5 miles : Cross inlet stream
- N47 34.607 W121 23.050 — 4.0 miles : Steep, rugged climb above lake
- N47 34.434 W121 23.075 — 4.5 miles : Steep, rugged climb above lake
- N47 34.596 W121 23.391 — 5.0 miles : Reach crest (3,865'), begin descent
- N47 34.596 W121 23.391 — 5.4 miles : Bear Lake (3,610')
- N47 34.367 W121 24.146 — 5.75 miles : Deer Lake (3,583')
- N47 34.117 W121 24.410 — 6.25 miles : View over Snoqualmie Lake
- N47 34.267 W121 24.597 — 6.6 miles : Unmarked spur with lake access
- N47 34.339 W121 24.900 — 7.0 miles : Snoqualmie Lake (3,147')
- Berries are notably abundant along the entire trail.
- Tread lightly and use established paths when exploring sensitive habitat around each lake, particularly Lake Dorothy.
Camping and Backpacking Information
Camping Rules and Regulations
- Group size is limited to 12 individuals or any combination of people and stock.
- Camp only in established sites. Some may be closed for restoration.
- Sites are first come, first served.
- Campfires are prohibited at Lake Dorothy. Fires are permitted at Bear Lake, Deer Lake and Snoqualmie Lake.
- Bathe and wash dishes at least 150-200' from lakes and streams.
- Fishing is permitted in Lake Dorothy, Bear Lake, Deer Lake and Snoqualmie Lake with a valid WA state fishing license.
- Contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for specific guidelines.
Sport | Commercial Licenses: 360.902.2434
Disability Licenses: 360.902.2460
Rules and Regulations
- A valid Recreation Pass is required to access the Dororthy Lake Trailhead ($5 day use fee | overnight use requires payment for two days).
- Dogs are permitted on the Dorothy Lake Trail and must be leashed at all times.
Directions to Trailhead
The Lake Dorothy Trailhead is located 10.0 miles from Highway 2 near Skykomish, WA.
Turn south on Old Cascade Highway at Mile Marker 46 (approx 3 miles west of Skykomish on HWY 2). Continue .9 miles and make a right on Miller River Road (FS #6410). Drive 9.1 miles to the trailhead at the end of the road.
Miller River Road (#6410) is a graded dirt road. Portions are rough, narrow and winding. High clearance is preferable.The road is subject to washouts and fallen trees. Call ahead for conditions.
Mt Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest | Skykomish Ranger District
74920 NE Stevens Pass Highway | PO Box 305
Skykomish, WA 98288
Hours: Monday - Saturday
8a - 4:30p (Closed 12n - 12:30 + federal holidays)
Mt Baker - Snoqualmie National Forest | Supervisor's Office
2930 Wetmore Ave, Suite 3A