Fall Color? - Hopefully not white yet. You must pack yak trax or microspikes. Winter has arrived in the mountains and trails can be slick, especially in the mornings. (I remember doing Snow Lake in late October and the trail being slick with ice).
Please read all the links and come prepared. Know your fitness level. No children under 16 years old.
Location Rachel Lake (#1313)Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Cle Elum Ranger District
Roundtrip 8.0 miles
Elevation Gain 1600 ft
Highest Point 4600 ft
Features Lakes Waterfalls Wildflowers/Meadows Mountain views
Dogs allowed on leash
Northwest Forest Pass required
The condition of the trail to Rachel Lake and the lake's environs exhibit what can happen when too many nature-loving hikers are unleashed on a fragile landscape. Though you'll enjoy spectacular views at the lake and en route, closer examination reveals a web of way trails stomped into the fragile meadows around the lake. And heavy use and poor trail planning have left the trail in rough condition. You'll splash up a track marred by mud and water, with seasonal streams running down the middle of the trail at times. You'll also fight crowds for the right to that sloppy trail, which receives unbelievably heavy use every weekend in the summer. For maximum benefit visit midweek or after Labor Day.
From Seattle take I-90 east to exit 62 (signed "Kachess Lake"). Turn left from the exit ramp and drive northeast on Kachess Lake Road (Forest Road 49) toward Kachess Lake. Follow the signs to Lake Kachess Campground. Turn left on FR 4930, which leads about 4 miles to a large parking lot and the trailhead at the road's end.