Taylor River


Backpack - Marten, Snoqualmie, Deer & Bear Lakes

Three day visit to six lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness--accessed from the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road. Expect adventure and discoveries at rarely visited lakes, waterfalls, cold temps, 13+ hours of darkness, a river ford, possible fishing and cozy fires. This is a challenging shoulder-season trip, 31 miles, 9000' gain--Leader Permission Required.

  • Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 31.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 9,000 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 3,800 ft
  • Pace: 1.5 to 2.0 MPH

Meet at 8 AM Friday, at the Snoqualmie Lake/Taylor River TH.  Northwest Forest Pass or America the Beautiful Pass required

Getting There

From Seattle, drive east on I-90 to exit 34. Turn left onto 468th Street and follow it about 0.3 miles to the junction with the signed Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road. From here it is 12.1 miles to the trailhead for Taylor River.

Turn right and head up the Middle Fork Snoqualmie Road. Where the road forks, stay right on the Lake Dorothy road, and continue down this road, passing many trailheads, as well as the Middle Fork campground and large trailhead for the Middle Fork Road, before arriving at Garfield Ledges Trailhead.

The trailhead for Otter Falls/Taylor River is another 0.3 miles down the road past this trailhead, at the Snoqualmie Lake trailhead, but this parking area is a much better place to leave your car. 

The weather outlook currently looks hopeful for a great looking dry, even sunny weekend--we will see.

This trip incorporates the main backpacking trek to and from Snoqualmie Lake on days 1 & 3, plus a side excursion with daypack to Martin Lake on day 1 and to Nordrum Lake on day 3.  On day 2 we will day hike (light packs) to explore Bear, Deer, Dorothy Lakes and whatever else looks interesting.  There is steam to ford on day 2--bring fording shoes.  Most travel will be on trails, however the trek to Marin Lake will be boot-path like, may require route finding skills and be brushing and eroded in sections.  The day hike to Nordrum Lake (day 3) may be similarly challenging.  This is part of the fun.  The area is currently snow-free and forecast to more or less be so for our trip.  Things can of course change in a week.  But no strong weather fronts are currently forecasted.  There will be about 14 hours of darkness each night.  We will plan to make fires each night to extend our time out the tent as long as possible into the evening.

Here is the proposed Gaia route for the trip:  https://www.gaiagps.com/public/a8hUHojUXRsZZVogb5IdGZVH/

In requesting permission please respond to the following questions:

1) I understand that there will be about 14 hours of darkness and will make plans for this. Yes or No.

2) I understand that temperature will be cool to cold and I am comfortable with this and will be extra warm clothing and extra warm sleep system.  Yes or  No.

3) I can backpacking (some will be hiking with a day pack) about 10 miles  a day and I can comfortably do the 3500' or so gain in day one.  Yes or No.  Please list backpacks with at least 2500' gain in one day. 

 This trip is weather dependent and could be shorten to one night/two days, moved to another location or cancelled.  If the weather forecasts holds out, this should be a fun and interesting trip to explore a new location.  Rob


Taylor River

  • Green Trails Mt Si No. 174

    Green Trails Skykomish No. 175

    Green Trails Middle Fork Snoqualmie No. 174SX

    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, Ursack 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
  • Cold weather clothing
  • Cold weather sleeping system.
  • Trekking poles
  • Likely rain gear
  • Fording shoes
Trip Reports