Basic Backpacking Student Trip - Melakwa Lake

Field trip: Basic Backpacking

Basic Backpacking Student Trip - Melakwa Lake

Optional supplemental trip for the Basic Backpacking course. Two night backpack trip in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, sampling Pratt, Lower Tuscohatchie (perhaps Windy and Kaleetan) and Melakwa Lakes.

  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 13.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,700 ft
  • Pace: Moderate

Denny Creek TH at 8:30am.  NW Forest Pass required.  From there, we will boot up and get into as few cars as possible to drive to our starting TH at Granite Mtn/ Pratt Lake.  Masks required for this shuttle, both at the beginning and the end of our trip.  

Directions:  From Seattle, head east on I-90 to exit 47 Denny Creek/Tinkham Road. At the top of the exit ramp, turn left and cross over the freeway. Go 0.2 miles and turn right at the stop sign onto Forest Road 58. The road crosses under the freeway, after driving 0.2 miles, turn left.
Continue straight on for 2.9 miles and about a half mile past the Denny Creek Campground there is a large paved parking lot on the right that can accommodate about 60 cars.

Come sample some of the many lakes of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.  We will experience trees and meadows, creeks and lakes, and depending on our group energy and desire, find time  for some additional explorations.  

Day 1: After meeting at the Denny Creek TH, we will boot up and put packs in a vehicle or two and drive to the Pratt Lake TH where we will start our hike.  After a few miles, we will pass the turn off to Olallie Lake and contemplate a visit there, or push on.  We will head over a view rich saddle before dropping into Pratt Lake basin.  We will decide as a group whether to camp here or to head along to Lower Tuscohatchie.  6 miles, with 2300' gain and 800' loss.  

Day 2: Depending on where we camped the night prior, we will  decide if we aim for Windy and Kaleetan Lakes as a dayhike (additional 6 miles RT with 1500' gain), before heading  over to locate our second night camp at Melakwa Lake.   Additional possible exploration around the Upper Lake and to the Melakwa Pass for views of kaleetan Peak and Mount Roosevelt.  3 miles, with 1200' gain. 

Day 3: We will take the Denny Creek trail back to our waiting cars, heading over Hemlock Pass, and viewing Snowshoe and Keekwulee Falls, perhaps taking some time to play at the Denny Creek waterslide area as well.   4.25 miles, with 300' gain and 2400' loss.  

Covid considerations:  As with all things of late, please be flexible and cautious and cancel off if any sign of illness.


Melakwa Lake

  • Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass No. 207

    Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass Gateway No. 207S

    USGS Snoqualmie Pass
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

All the usual backpacking equipment.  

Stuff for bear and critter food protection.

Recommend bug juice and head nets.  

Trip Reports