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Trip Report    

Backpack - Snoqualmie Lake

This was a good early-season route. It rained much more than expected and we all got drenched, but the route was passable, we reached our destination, and everyone returned safely – so the trip was a success.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The road up to the Taylor River Trailhead was paved. There were quite a few parking spaces – but almost packed. It was good that we only used two vehicles. The Taylor River Trail was well-maintained. We passed quite a few volunteers clearing brush starting to grow over the trail in places. Water was available at multiple stream-crossings along the route.

    We started crossing streams in the late morning/early afternoon on Saturday, at which point the water was running low and streams were relatively easy to cross.

    (Bridges were still critical in places, though.) Navigating the crossings was generally simple, with one exception – where already-placed rock cairns were very helpful. However, the water was flowing very high in places on the return trip Sunday morning. Waiting to start the return hike until late morning would be strongly recommended. The trail was clear until we left the Taylor River Trail and started heading up. Between there and reaching Snoqualmie Lake, we had to climb over or through multiple very large trees blocking the trail. Overall, a good route with a few significant challenges.
    Logs blocked the trail





The trip from Taylor River Trailhead to camp above Snoqualmie Lake and back was 19 miles long with 2,200 ft of elevation gain and a 3,200 ft high-point.

Day 1: We reached the trailhead and inserted in mid-morning. Although the weather forecast had indicated a chance of showers, it was relatively dry for the first couple hours. The rain started while we were eating lunch, and then it rained almost non-stop until Sunday morning, rendering water-resistant material almost useless. After finding a usable campsite near Snoqualmie Lake in the late afternoon, we set up camp and got in our tents.

Day 2: We packed up and left camp around 9:30am. Our goal was to get back to the parking lot as soon as possible, but as a result of leaving early all of the water courses were running high.

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Crossings required significant caution. On the way back, we took the side-trip to Lipsy Lake and Otter Falls – which was worth the effort in spite of being wet. We returned to the trailhead at 2:30pm (4 hours after leaving camp) and headed home.

This was a good early-season trip overall, but it would have helped to interpret “chance of showers” as “likely steady rain.”