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Intermediate Hike - Rachel Lake - Snoqualmie Pass

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

Statistics

Roundtrip 8.0 miles

Elevation Gain 1600 ft

Highest Point 4600 ft

Features Lakes Waterfalls Wildflowers/Meadows Mountain views

Established campsites

User info

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.

http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/rachel-lake

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.

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  • Andrea

    Thanks of coordinating this hike Kathy. Miley and I had a great time!

    October 22, 2013

  • Kathy L.

    Amazing day. Sunny and warm up at the lake, like a summer day. The lake setting was stunning. The hike up was beautiful and a good workout too. Nice to have you all along to share a little more summer.

    October 21, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I really wish we had been able to go. I woke up at 4:30 and debated back and forth but still felt like an elephant was sitting on my chest. In the end it worked out, because my brother decided to drive up and see us and I hadn't seen him in months so I guess there was a reason for it. Glad you had a great day! I really miss our old hiking days! Going to have to find some hikers down on this end I guess. Planning to check out a few places and post something before the snow drives us down lower. It's been weeks since I've been hiking. Miss you, Kathy & Nancy. Bud misses everyone, too.

      October 21, 2013

  • Susan

    Thank you for the fantastic hike and great trail companionship. My knee held up really well - just a little swelling and stiffness. Not bad at all for a hike of that intensity. And thanks for the great photos. Mine didn't turn out all that good, so I'm glad to see others have better cameras and skills than I!

    October 21, 2013

  • Collene

    This looks like a great hike, sorry we missed it. We decided at the last minute to do a mountain hike yesterday and thought we'd just coast on up to the Snow Lake trailhead, thinking the crowds would be less since summer is over. NOPE - about 200 other people had the same idea - parking lot was PACKED, people pulling up every second, and some, like us, high-tailing it back out of there. We settled for the nearby Mirror Lake trail, which I can suggest as an option for a future hike (soon!) for the group. It is a really easy hike (1 mi) to the lake which is pretty with a little fall color, and then if that isn't enough, you can wander the PCT N or S of the lake.

    October 21, 2013

  • Nancy W

    Will see you at the trail head!

    October 19, 2013

  • Brigitte

    Just changed my RSVP because I hiked Easton Ridge w/Maya today. The view to Kachess Lake was brilliant. Our trail - lots of mushrooms (the reason we went), lovely fall colors, sun and NO FOG! On the E-side of the pass the fog cleared early in the day. Do enjoy! We'll catch you next weekend.

    October 19, 2013

  • Donna

    I would love to come, but just realized I cannot find my spikes and my pass has expired. Sorry it is so late in notification, but will see you at the Duvall walk.

    October 19, 2013

  • Kathy L.

    See you all in the morning. If you are not at the Safeway in north bend at 8am ( I meet near the chase bank end of parking lot) I will expect to meet you at the trailhead at 9am ish, hope to start hiking before 9:30.
    Dress in layers, bring snacks and lunch and don't forget your yak trax.
    Have a safe drive
    Look for my blue Hyundai Tucson.
    My #[masked]-2952. Not sure about cell reception at trailhead however.

    October 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    but.... if we are better tomorrow, we might crash the party. Don't wait for us. if we can make it, we'll be at Safeway by 8.

    October 19, 2013

    • Kathy L.

      No fog in the mountains, penny. May make you feel better. I hope you can make it. I was looking forward to seeing you.

      October 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    going to give up my spot. Would love to go, but this fog is wreaking havoc on my sinuses. Went for a walk a while ago and now can hardly breathe. Just got over a bad sinus infection so am going to have to wimp out...

    October 19, 2013

  • Susan

    Glad I checked my email this morning to find an opening!

    October 19, 2013

  • Donna

    Excited there was a spot for this hike, our first with the group!

    October 14, 2013

  • JuliaB

    Wait list please!

    October 13, 2013

  • Albina

    Sorry, I will not be able to go. Have fun!

    October 9, 2013

  • Kathy L.

    Yak trax, microspikes are mandatory for this hike. Winter has arrived and may be sticking around. These make for easier and safer hiking in icy conditions.

    October 6, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry I can't do. Wylie foster girl has a training class. Have fun!

    October 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Please put me on the waiting list

    September 1, 2013

  • Sandy P.

    I'd like to be on the waiting list too, please.
    Thanks.

    August 31, 2013

  • Albina

    Kathy,
    Would you please put me on waiting list for this hike?
    Thank you.

    August 28, 2013

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