Snow & Gem Lakes (Snoqualmie)


Day Hike - Snow & Gem Lakes (Snoqualmie)

Day hike to lovely Snow and Gem Lakes.

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  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 10.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,800 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 4,857 ft
  • Pace: 1.5-2.0 mph

We will meet at the Tibbets Park and Ride next to the skate park in Issaquah at 7:45  a.m., divvy up for carpools, and leave around 8:00. It's about 45 minutes from the Park and Ride to the trailhead.

If you wish to meet at the trailhead, please let me know.  It is the Snow Lake Trailhead on Alpental Access Road.

Drivers will need a Northwest Forest Pass or an America the Beautiful National Park Pass.



I have been to Snow Lake a few times, but never to Gem Lake, so this will be an adventure! We will review our maps at the trailhead and do a little navigation along the way for anyone who is interested.  (This is the Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass No. 207 map.) 

The weather looks to be lovely, but recent trip reports indicate the trail could be wet and possibly a little snowy in some places. In addition to the 10 essentials, I recommend poles if you have them. I will provide an update on conditions a few days before the hike.

Past Mountaineers reports indicate the trip from Snow to Gem Lake is challenging. Our pace will be roughly 1.5-2.0 miles per hour, so please be sure you are up to a hike of this distance and difficulty. (On the other hand, I like to stop for beauty breaks, so if you are looking for a fast-paced hike with no stops, this won't be it.)

Here is the description from WTA:


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 (map and compass highly recommended)
  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