Snow & Gem Lakes (Snoqualmie)


Day Hike - Snow & Gem Lakes (Snoqualmie)

Trip will initially open to Tacoma Branch Conditioning Hiking Students. Trip will open for registration to all Mountaineers, based on availability, 7-10 days prior to date of the hike.

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  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 7.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,500 ft

7:30am at the Snow Lake Trailhead in Snoqualmie Pass/Apental area.

Trip will initially open to Tacoma Branch Conditioning Hiking Students.  Trip will open for registration to all Mountaineers, based on availability, 7-10 days prior to date of the hike.

Leader Notes from scouting hike on 7/15/2021:

1.  I enjoyed my scouting hike and will do this hike but I have never fully completed it since my partner was feeling really bad about .75 and 400ft elevation away from Gem Lake; he is a strong hiker so when he said he had to turn around we did so for safety. So the last .75 miles will be scouting for us all unless someone has gone here in the past.  We may still turn around if there is a blockage on the trail after this point if I decide it is too dangerous to cross.  We passed a few who had gone there, though,and asked them about the hike. It is very doable with only a bit of snow which will be melted out on 8/1 for sure.
2. BIGGEST SAFETY ISSUE:  there is a partially collapsed bridge at the 3.5 miles point.  My friend and I got over it but it was difficult for us since we are both afraid of heights.  I know several ways we can go around but it alone or working as a group.  But if ANYONE feels uncomfortable going further when they see the bridge we will turn around. I will also pole everyone privately so all will feel comfortable telling me of their choice.   Also if the bridge collapses further and is not fixed (a big possibility the way it is now), I will just tell you we are turning around. ***If we do turn around at this bridge it still meets the Tacoma CHS standard for July so it will count as one of your Tacoma CHS hikes.***
3.  This is a hard 10 miles.  It is rocky with both small rocks that move and ones that do not move but have sharp angles.  I call this an "ankle turner" hike and I did that without spraining multiple times during the scouting hike. Our moving pace for Tacoma CHS will likely be on the slow side much of this hike due to that  (1.75 mph average or slower) even though I am a typical 2.0 mph average or more hiker. 
4.  Due to this hike's popularity to Snow Lake and it being a Sunday hike, it will be a "slo-go" and feel like a packed highway for our last 3 miles since the hikers coming up have the right away. You will have to be very patient on these last 3 miles.  
5. Based upon #3 and #4 above this will definitely be an all day hike so plan for an 8 hour hiking time (based upon the length and my experience of the break time needed for a group our size).

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

  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
Trip Reports