Melakwa Lake


Day Hike - Melakwa Lake

A late season hike of a fabulous NW treasure.

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  • Sun, Nov 16, 2014
  • Foothills Hiking Committee
  • Day Hiking
  • Singles, 20-30 Somethings, Retired Rovers, Adults
  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 9.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,650 ft

We'll meet at 7:45 a.m. at Tibbet's Valley Park P&R in Issaquah, exit 15, on Newport Way, across the street from the Transit Center.

Downside to late season Melakwa: you’ll miss the millions of children laughing at the natural waterslide a mile or so in.  Upside to late season Melakwa: you’ll miss their parents SUVs in the parking lot, and the mosquitos the lake is named for. 

Elevation 2,650; mileage is more like 10 plus miles.  The trail is rocky, rooty, and muddy—you’ll want to wear your waterproof dancing shoes on this one.  We’ll assess the height of Denny Creek at the waterslide a mile in, and use good judgment to forge on or turn around and hike plan B. Even so, there are a lot of serendipitous water sources crossing the trail; hiking poles will be a must, as will waterproof gaiters. 

If the clouds insist on keeping us company, lack of views will be compensated for by a number of waterfalls on the way up—Keekwulee Falls (said to mean “to fall down” in Chinook) and Snowshoe Falls being the most visible. If Mother Nature gives us a break, there are lovely views of the valley between Denny Mountain and Low Mountain as we switchback up to Hemlock Pass.  And at the top you are rewarded with not just one but two turquoise lakes reflecting the rock formations around them, deep enough to throw your soul into for a few timeless minutes.  

We will be rained on.  We will get muddy.  We may encounter vicious killer Picas.  Plan accordingly.


Melakwa Lake

  • Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass No. 207

    Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass Gateway No. 207S

    USGS Snoqualmie Pass
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools, including knife
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
  11. Hiking Poles
  12. Rain gear (jacket, pants, waterproof gaiters and boots)

NO COTTON!  NO JEANS!  NO FEATHER BOAS! (just kidding about the boas...)

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