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Margaret Lake

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Who wants to hike in old clear-cuts? When they're packed with huckleberries, I do! If the huckleberries aren't ripe yet, you'll find paintbrush, lupine, columbine, and other wildflowers coloring the trail. Besides, the old clear-cuts found on the lower portion of this route peter out quickly as you climb the ridge before dropping into the picturesque lake basin.

Head up the gravel road leading past the parking lot and in 0.25 mile veer left onto a small dirt road. Hike around an old cable gate and climb the dirt road as it slants steeply upward into an old clear-cut. Don't let the ugly connotations of that label fool you, however. This field of stumps has been reclaimed by native flora--acres of huckleberries punctuated by an array of wildflowers. Beargrass, lupine, paintbrush, tiger lilies, fireweed, and more grace these slopes.

The road peters out in 0.5 mile and the narrow trail weaves upward, providing great views south over Keechelus Lake and back up toward Snoqualmie Pass. As you near the ridge Mount Rainier comes into view far to the south, too.

About 1.5 miles from the trailhead, the trail enters forest and, at 2 miles, reaches a junction near the ridgeline. To the left is Lake Lillian. Turn right instead to cross the ridge and descend a steep mile to Margaret Lake. The lake is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy a refreshing dip after lunch before heading back up and over the ridge.
Driving Directions:

From Seattle drive east on I-90 to exit 54 (signed "Hyak"). Turn left (north) under the freeway and right on the frontage road marked "Gold Creek." After about 0.5 mile turn left (north) on Gold Creek Road (Forest Road 4832) and drive east, parallel to the interstate briefly before the road angles upward. At 3.9 miles from the freeway turn left onto FR 4934, and in 0.25 mile look for the parking lot on the left.

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

Recent Trip Reports

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There are 61 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Margaret Lake — Oct 20, 2013 — Yasobara
Day hike
Features: Fall foliage
Issues: Snow on trail
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My wife, Milo, the dog, and I hiked to Margaret Lake near Snoqualmie Pass. It was sunny in the mount...
My wife, Milo, the dog, and I hiked to Margaret Lake near Snoqualmie Pass. It was sunny in the mountains while Puget Sound area was socked in by thick fog. We arrived at the trailhead at 10:30 and there were 5 cars at the parking lot. The last 2 miles of forest road was unpaved and very bumpy. We took our Camry but should have taken Subaru instead.

We started hiking at 10:45. The trail up to the ridge was mostly dry and there was no problem. The trail from Lake Yvonne to Margaret Lake was buried in snow and route finding was difficult. Finally at 12:50 we reached the lake and found a nice place to sit and enjoy the view of the lake and had lunch there in solitude.

We left the lake at 1:15 and met several people coming down to Margaret Lake. We took a hike towards Lake Lillian but turned back after 0.3 mile because we were tired. We returned to our car by 3:15.
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Margaret Lake — Oct 14, 2013 — hilltopper
Day hike
Features: Fall foliage
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I write this to make sure others don't make the same mistake we did. We got a late start, and in our...
I write this to make sure others don't make the same mistake we did. We got a late start, and in our haste to hit the trail took the trail at the far end of the parking lot. It was not in good condition, but we figured that might be because the access road had been closed (I think) during construction on I-90. We failed to notice that the trailhead signboard said, as did our hike book, that we had to hike up the road that leads to the parking lot(.6 mile), including a fork to the left, to reach the actual trailhead. We spent four hours in good weather, but ended up quite lost. Only made it out because we used map, compass, and views from ridges and found an abandoned logging road that led us out to the road the trail departs from. It ended well, but was a bit scary. We were amply supplied with the 10 essentials, but had both managed to leave cell phones at home in our haste to capitalize on a sunny day. It could easily have been a cold dark night out on the mountainside, and we saw plenty of animal scat, including bear, along our way. For a relatively well used trail, the overgrown path we were on should have sent us back to the parking lot for a recheck!
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Margaret Lake — Oct 14, 2013 — CampHikePack
Day hike
Features: Fall foliage
Issues: Snow on trail
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My wife and our took the dogs on this lovely hike on Columbus Day. We started the hike around 1pm a...
My wife and our took the dogs on this lovely hike on Columbus Day. We started the hike around 1pm and had the trail all to ourselves.

Trail conditions were good until nearing the top of the ridge when snow began to appear. The trail going down into the lake was completely covered in snow (northern aspect) and definitely a little slippery for regular hiking boots.

The lake was small and covered in ice, but the views getting there made it well worth it. Most of the trail winds through young regen with brushy openings (great for views). We really enjoyed the stand of older fir on the ridge.
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Margaret Lake — Aug 19, 2013 — Zipster
Day hike
Features: Wildflowers blooming | Ripe berries
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Lots of huckleberries and fireweed in bloom. No bugs until we got to the lake....
Lots of huckleberries and fireweed in bloom. No bugs until we got to the lake.
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Icicle Creek, Lake Edna, Margaret Lake, Frosty - Wildhorse Creek — Aug 13, 2013 — Mandrea
Overnight
Features: Wildflowers blooming | Ripe berries
Issues: Bugs
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Started out at the Icicle Creek trailhead after planting another car at Chatter Creek/Lake Edna trai...
Started out at the Icicle Creek trailhead after planting another car at Chatter Creek/Lake Edna trailhead. Started in around 11:15, bit of a late start but breakfast at Starbucks was too good. Got up to Frosty Pass amid clouds of black flies, really horrible. Continued on with peaks of Lake Margaret and then Lake Mary. Views were awesome on the way up to Mary's Pass. Spent some time on top of the pass since the bugs were less up there and the views of Glacier and Rainier were fabulous, then headed down to Lake Florence for the night. Watched the tail end of the Perseid Meteor shower and had a quite night all to ourselves. Beautiful.
The next morning we hiked out to Ladies Pass, Lake Edna and finally down to the car at Chatter Creek. Realized we need to get some up to date hike books as the descriptions in our H. Manning/Ira Spring books are out of date. That was a loooong way out with over 4,000 elevation loss.
All in all a great trip, all trails are snow free and in good condition but beware the flies!!
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lake margaret roobug.jpg
Lake Margaret. Photo by Roobug.
Location
Margaret Lake (#1332.1)
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Cle Elum Ranger District
Statistics
Roundtrip 6.0 miles
Elevation Gain 1800 ft
Highest Point 5100 ft
Features
Lakes
Mountain views
Ridges/passes
User info
Dogs allowed on leash
Northwest Forest Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Pass (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)
Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass No. 207

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Note: the description and driving directions for this Mountaineers Books entry are copyrighted and can't be changed.

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