Backpack - Gem Lake


Backpack - Gem Lake

Moderate single-night trip to pretty Gem Lake at Snoqualmie Pass. *Fully Vaccinated Only*

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 10.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,200 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 4,927 ft
  • Pace: 1.25 - 2.0 mph

Snow Lake Trailhead (next to the Alpental Ski Area) at 8:00am.

Carpooling is optional but encouraged, and will be arranged among the participants.  Because this is a midweek trip, the availability of Park and Rides is more restricted than for typical weekend trips.  The trailhead is reached via paved roads - no special vehicle is required.  A Northwest Forest Pass is required.

This trip was cancelled because of poor air quality at Snoqualmie Pass caused by  wildfire smoke. 


Gem Lake is  a very pretty lake beyond the very popular Snow Lake.   We'll head up there for a simple overnight trip.

The scenery all along the route is spectacular.  Like any place that is both beautiful and easy to reach, it also also very popular.   Most people turn around at Snow Lake, after which we should have more solitude.  To avoid the crowds and ensure we get good tent sites, we'll go midweek and get an early start.

This trip is pretty straightforward, but there are a few things to be aware of.

  • There will be likely be bugs.  It's the price we pay for going to pretty mountain lakes early in the season.  Be sure to bring bug repellent and consider bringing a head net to keep the bugs away while in camp.  Hopefully we will not need them, but best to be prepared.
  • Though technically easy, the route has some elevation gain so the trip is moderate rather than strenuous.  Please be sure your conditioning is adequate for this trip.  We will keep a fairly modest pace (the trip leader is not fast) but we do need to make steady progress throughout the trip.


This trip is open to fully vaccinated participants only.  If you have not been on a trip with the leader yet this season, please send an electronic  image of your vaccination card with everything blocked out except your name and the date of your second dose.


Snow & Gem Lakes (Snoqualmie)

  • Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass No. 207

    Alpine Lakes Wilderness (ALPS)

    Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass Gateway No. 207S

    Trails Illustrated Alpine Lakes Wilderness
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister, Ursak, or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports