Social distancing, seclusion and serenity awaits in Snoqualmie. There are miles upon miles of iconic PNW hiking trails near Snoqualmie with a trail for every age and fitness level, breathtaking mountain views, impressive alpine lakes, famous cascading waterfalls and dense old growth forests.
Whether you’re introducing little ones to the joy of hiking, seeking a trophy catch in a secluded alpine lake or an avid hiker in search of challenging day hikes on the 1-90 corridor near Seattle, here’s our top pick of easy family hikes, intermediate trails and strenuous scrambles up rocky switchbacks near Snoqualmie.
Distance: 1.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 509 ft
The 270-foot Snoqualmie Falls is one of the top sights to see in the Cascade Mountains. There’s an observation platform at the top of the falls and a short, relaxing nature walk through the old growth trees, past the Snoqualmie Falls power plant to a lower viewing area at the base of the falls, with beautiful views looking up at the falls. An easy hike for the whole family.
This easy, tranquil ADA-accessible trail is near the Summit at Snoqualmie. The interpretive trail loops around the Gold Creek Pond with picnic tables, BBQ grills and scenic views of summer wildflowers, the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and Snoqualmie mountain peaks. This trail is a perfect introduction to hiking in the Cascade Mountains and is open for snowshoeing in the winter months.
Distance: 2-mile round trip
Elevation Gain: 364 ft
The Franklin Falls Trail is a well-maintained, gentle and shaded trail through the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The trail is a favorite Snoqualmie hike for families weaving along a creek through thick forests to the scenic 70-ft Franklin Falls, one of the top-rated waterfalls in Washington State. This is one of the best waterfall hikes near Seattle, perfect for summer swimming and winter snowshoeing.
Distance: 3-mile round trip
Elevation Gain: 932 ft
Lodge Lake is a scenic alpine lake on Snoqualmie Mountain with gorgeous summer wildflowers and grassy areas to picnic. The trail begins at the Summit at Snoqualmie and heads under the ski lifts, through a shaded forest and over the ridge to the shores of Lodge Lake. Lodge Lake is along the Pacific Crest Trail and is accessible for snowshoeing in the winter months.
Distance: 7.8-mile roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2,043 ft
The Annette Lake Trail begins in the forest and meanders along Humpback Creek with water crossings, cascading waterfalls, summer wildflowers, blueberry and huckleberry bushes. The trail is well-maintained with a steep traverse of switchbacks to a crystal clear alpine lake with turquoise waters for swimming and fishing and great views of Granite Mountain.
Distance: 10-mile roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1,699 ft
Snow Lake is the most visited lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and a popular winter snowshoe hike near Seattle. The trail begins near the Alpental Ski Area and follows the Snoqualmie River through jagged terrain with scenic waterfalls, roaming wildlife, late summer huckleberries and vibrant fall foliage. For a longer hike, continue through the woods for two miles to Gem Lake.
Distance: 5.7-mile roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1,223 ft
Talapus & Olallie Lake are high-alpine lakes on Pratt Mountain, accessed on a well-maintained and shaded trail through tall cedars with steep switchbacks along Talapus Creek. Talapus Lake is located 2.1 miles from the trailhead or continue along the Pratt Lake Trail to Olallie Lake, approximately 1.5 miles on. Pack your fishing and swim gear for hours of summer fun in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Distance: 8.5-mile roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2,388 ft
The Granite Lakes are nestled between Mailbox and Revolution Peak with great views of Mt Rainier and the Middle Fork Valley. The trail follows Granite Creek to the source at the lower Granite Lake with stream crossings, shaded forests, and forks in the trail to extend your hike further to the upper Granite Lake, Thompson Lake and deep into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area.
Distance: 6.8-mile roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2,309 ft
The Ira Spring Memorial trail is a scenic trail with steep switchbacks up Bandera Mountain, dense fir groves, open meadows of spring and summer wildflowers, and spectacular mountain views. The trail links to the Mountain Defiance Trail to extend your Snoqualmie hike to more tranquil alpine lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Distance: 9-mile roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2,680 ft
Begin your adventure along the gentle Denny Creek Trail through old growth forests, passing under the I-90 to the Denny Creek Waterslide. The trail crosses Denny Creek (dependent on water levels) and continues past the cascading 70-ft Keekwulee Falls with creek crossings and steep switchbacks to Hemlock Pass, and onto Melakwa Lake. Soak up breathtaking views of crystal clear alpine waters and views of Kaleetan Peak and Chair Peak from Melakwa Lake.
Distance: 9-mile roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2,969 ft
The Lake Lillian Trail begins on an abandoned logging road to a split in the road to Lake Lillian and Margaret Lake Trails. The trail climbs the slopes of Mt Margaret, drops to Twin Lakes, and continues on steep switchbacks to a ridge overlooking Lake Lillian on the southern slopes of Rampart Ridge. A half mile detour leads to the shoreline of Lake Margaret.
Distance: 9-mile roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2,530 ft
From Lake Lillian, experienced hikers can follow the rocky switchbacks north to Rampart Lakes, Rachel Lake, Lila Lake and even experience a strenuous scramble to the summit of Alta Mountain.
Please note that a Northwest Forest Pass is required at many Snoqualmie trailheads and is available for purchase online.
Be bear aware, leave no trace behind, and return to all the comforts of home (and more!) in our private cabin rental on the slopes of Snoqualmie.