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Trip Report    

Day Hike - Snoquera Falls Loop

All smiles on this beautiful hike with bluebird skies and fresh snowfall. After several weeks of cold, rainy and snowy weather in the PNW, we all were extra giddy hiking to Snoquera Falls under blue, blue skies with very light wind.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The trail to Snoquera Falls from the Camp Sheppard parking was snow covered from start to finish. Fresh snow had fallen overnight so all the trees were covered beautifully. The snow was crunchy underfoot. We hiked the short Mosses Lake Nature trail and rejoined the main trail going up to Snoquera Falls. As the trail steepened, we all put on our micro spikes which were very useful for the rest of the day.

    There are several downed trees in one section before the switchbacks begin that require a scramble under and over.

    Once at the falls, there is an old avalanche snow pile to cross up and over. Again micro-spikes and hiking poles were very helpful. We also had to be mindful of water under the snowpack in areas, ice and possibly loose rock. 

    Taking the loop back down to the White River Trail you travel over many old rock slides. One was a fresher one and you needed to be mindful of your foot placement but it is definitely manageable.

Our group had a wonderful day exploring a beautiful trail to Snoquera Falls. We met at the Enumclaw Ranger Station and did our introductions in the sunshine at the parking lot. Several members formed carpools and we caravanned to the Camp Sheppard trailhead. New snow had fallen overnight and all the trees were covered along Highway 410. As we passed the town of Greenwater, the road way had some snow cover and black ice in places. We all drove with caution and made it safely to the parking lot. The parking lot had black ice as well and caution was taken.

Folks finished gearing up and we headed out for our adventure and conditioning as this is the first month of the Conditioning Hiking Series! The trail was lightly snow-covered and crunchy underfoot. We enjoyed the sun coming through the very tall trees and lovely snow cover. The Mosses Lake Nature Trail is impressive with some very large Western Red Cedar and Douglas-fir Trees.

Once we finished the nature trail, we rejoined the main trail heading to Snoquera Falls. This was a new hike for many in the group and we all enjoyed the forest and anticipation of the waterfall. As the trail steepened, we all put on our micro-spikes and everyone was glad to have them as we continued.

We had one downed tree that was easy to walk over but then we had to team up to navigate a jumble of larger down trees. It required an under and over approach. We took our packs off and helped each make their way safely.

Rest breaks and photo breaks were taken as we enjoyed this beautiful sunshiny day and each other. It was fun to see everyone's faces as we made the last bend and saw Snoquera Falls for the first time. We navigated the trail with a bit deeper snow (3 - 4 inches) but mostly packed down by previous hikers. We were also enjoying critter tracks in the snow as well.

We had some more navigating as a pile of snow from an old avalanche was piled up on the trail. This is where we took some photos and then made our way to a sunny spot for a break and snacks.

After our break, we continued on the loop trail to connect with the White River Trail and then back to the parking lot. This section has more rock scree to travel over and had more sunshine due to the openness from past rock slides. The trail became bare of snow and ice and we all took our micro-spikes off to be steady on the rocky terrain and snow-free trail.

We only saw one other party the whole day and made our way back to the parking lot which was now free of ice and snow.

It was a great day with wonderful people. This is definitely a must do trail on this side of Mt. Rainier.