CHS 2 Hike - Snow & Gem Lakes (Snoqualmie)

Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series

CHS 2 Hike - Snow & Gem Lakes (Snoqualmie)

CHS hike led at a CHS 2 pace (2.0-3.0 mph) NOTE: We'll have a better idea of snow levels the first week of June. Based on snow levels, this trip may change. Snow Lake is a moderate, 6 mile round trip hike with 1,300 feet of elevation gain. The trail goes up above the South Fork Snoqualmie River through forests and over a pass to a beautiful alpine lake. We'll continue beyond Snow Lake to Gem lake. There are numerous waterfalls, pika habitats, and once you get past Snow Lake, the crowd dwindles dramatically.

  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 10.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,200 ft
  • Pace: 2.0-3.0 mph

9am at Alpental parking area


Take Exit 52 off of I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass, and turn northwest onto Alpental Road and follow it to the Alpental parking area (3,100 ft).


The trail starts from the Snoqualmie Pass Alpental ski area and climbs 700 feet in the first 1.5 miles.  From there, you have a wonderful view of Snow Lake.  Descend about 200 feet to the lakes side. It's 6 miles round trip with 1,300 feet of elevation gain and a 4,400 ft high point.


Follow the trail along its eastern edge of Snow Lake.  After a short way, climb past waterfalls, wildflowers, and rocky hills squeaking with pika, while gaining another 900 feet in 2.0 miles.  It's a total of 10 miles round trip with 2,200 feet of elevation gain and a 4,927 ft high point.


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

Ten Essential Systems

  1. Navigation (map & compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)
Trip Reports