Hayak Lake, Nordic Pass, Windy Pass & Mount Catherine

From Hyak, Nordic Pass, Windy Pass, Mount Catherine and Hyak Lake, are easy to moderate snowshoe or scramble trips near Snoqualmie Pass.

getting there

Hyak Ski Area

Take Exit 54 (Gold Creek/Hyak) off of I-90. Drive to and park at the Hyak Ski Area (2,630 ft).

Hyak Sno-park

Take Exit 54 off of I-90, turn left onto Forest Road 2219 and follow it 1.5 miles to the Hyak Sno-Park.

approach & ascent

Hyak Lake (3,300 ft)

Basic Snowshoe
2.5 miles round trip with 700 feet of elevation gain

A fairly easy trek with minimal potential avalanche danger.

nordic pass (3,500 ft)

Basic Snowshoe
7 miles round trip with 1,600 feet of elevation gain

Head west up hill along the powerlines and/or along the cabins until about 2,900 ft then head on a 230° bearing to Nordic Pass.

Windy Pass (3,800 ft)

N3 Nordic Intermediate Ski
8.0 miles round trip with 1,300 feet of elevation gain

Ski the state groomed cross-country ski trail from the Hyak Sno-Park to ~0.5 mile before the Cold Creek bridge. Look for blue diamonds marking the trail on the right. Climb steeply through the woods following blue diamonds until intersecting the Summit Nordic Center's Cold Creek groomed trail. Ascend that trail to Windy Pass.

Mount Catherine Loop

N4 Nordic Advanced Ski
10.5-mile loop, 1,520 feet of elevation gain, high point: 4.060 ft

A difficult cross country ski route that circles Mount Catherine at Snoqualmie Pass, partially on groomed trails and partially on steep, forested hillsides.

Mount Catherine (5,052 ft)

Intermediate snowshoe, winter scramble, or spring snow scramble
9 miles round trip with 2,700 feet of elevation gain

Head west up hill along the powerlines and/or along the cabins until about 2,900 ft then head on a 230° bearing to Nordic Pass. Follow the ridge to the summit of Mount Catherine.

Alternate Route
When ski area is closed, hike under the ski chair lifts to the summit of Mount Hyak and then drop down toward the Radio Facility, 300° bearing, on the road. At the road intersection (~3,250 ft) follow the road until it crosses Mill Creek or stay in the timber. After crossing Mill Creek, follow a bearing of 242° ~1 mile to Nordic Pass, then follow the ridge to the summit of Mount Catherine. Alternatively, ~0.5 mi from Nordic Pass, head south gaining a broad ridge on the north side to the crest and then turn right and follow the ridge to the summit. This route is ~3,000 feet of elevation gain.

notes

  • It is best to do in winter or early spring when snow is present.
  • This route intersects upper part of the Snoqualmie Pass Nordic Center's trail system. Be careful to avoid walking on the groomed cross-country ski tracks. A trail pass is required for any use of the ski resort's groomed Nordic trails.
  • Avoid all active downhill ski runs or check with ski patrol confirm if uphill travel is allowed during downhill ski operations.
  • Be careful to avoid the private land north of the chair lift.
  • The Iron Horse Trail is normally groomed and tracks set on most days during the winter if the snow conditions permit. The short section of trail linking the Iron Horse Trail to the Cold Creek Trail/Common Corridor is never groomed and is often better traveled on foot, carrying skis. The Cold Creek Trail/Common Corridor Trail is normally groomed and tracks set on the days that the Summit Nordic Center is open (usually Fridays, weekends and holidays during the winter).
  • There is a potential avalanche slide zone just above the current location of the Jim Brooks Warming Hut. On the days that the Nordic Center is open (usually Fridays, weekends and holidays during winter) the trail will be closed below the slide zone at times for avalanche danger. On other days of the week to check for avalanche forecast (link below).
  • Difficulty: Technical 3, Strenuous 2, Snow Scramble, Winter Scramble, Moderate, N3 Nordic Intermediate Ski, N4 Nordic Advanced Ski
  • Length: 8.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,700 ft
  • 5,052 ft
Map
  • Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass Gateway No. 207S
  • USGS Snoqualmie Lake
  • USGS Lost Lake
Activities

Upcoming Activities

Adventure Activity - Hyak Lake

Youth Youth activity: Mini Mountaineers
Let's get adventurous! Mini Mountaineers will experience climbing, hiking, playing in the snow, and more!
Sat, Jan 15, 2022
No Prerequisites
5 participants
Registration closes Jan 13
Tacoma Branch
Trip Reports
Titles

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Hyak Lake
  • Nordic Pass
  • Windy Pass
  • Windy Pass from the Iron Horse Trail
  • Mount Catherine
  • Mount Catherine Loop
  • Hyak Lake & Nordic Pass
  • Nordic Pass & Mount Catherine
Resources

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