You are here: Home Find a Hike Hiking Guide Pete Lake

Pete Lake

» REI » Amazon

A portion of all book sales from the links above benefits WTA and helps protect and maintain our trails.

With little elevation gain, plenty of scenery, and a broad, sun-warmed forest lake at the end of the valley, this hike makes a great warm-up outing for you and your kids. You can enjoy a refreshing swim in the lake before turning around and returning along the gentle forest trail

This trail is essentially a continuation of the Cooper River Trail, as it follows the broad Cooper River valley upstream from Cooper Lake to its headwaters at Pete Lake. The trail begins in deep forest, with close views of the river during the early stretch. Watch for activity in the deeper pools, as beavers are making every effort to turn the river into a series of interconnected ponds.

The valley is blanketed with thick old-growth forest and the occasional river meadow, but few distant views. The lack of vistas, though, means you can focus on close-in scenery. Lush foliage and forest wildflowers line the trail. All that vegetation means good feeding for wildlife. Rabbits, weasels, fishers, and martens scurry around the bushes. Blacktail deer roam in great numbers through the area, and bobcats, coyotes, and cougars prowl around the lairs of those vegetarian beasts.

As the trail nears the lake, around the 3-mile mark, it passes an old, massive rockslide. The slide covers the south side of the valley. The trail skirts the worst of the rubble, but provides good views of the pile of rock and displaced earth.

Pete Lake fills a broad basin near the upper end of the valley. The eastern shore of the lake offers good views of Big Summit Chief Mountain to the west and the surrounding ridges. The lake boasts a healthy population of rainbow trout--you might be lucky enough to pull a pan-sized fish out of the lake for a lunch-time protein burst.
Driving Directions:

From Seattle drive east on I-90 to take exit 80 (signed "Roslyn/Salmon la Sac"). Head north on Salmon la Sac Road (State Route 903) about 15 miles, passing through Roslyn and past Cle Elum Lake. Turn left (west) onto Forest Road 46 and drive 5 miles to Cooper Lake. Turn right onto FR 4616, crossing Cooper River, and continue 1 mile past the upper loops of the campground to the trailhead at the end of the road near the upper end of the lake

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

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

Recent Trip Reports

Hiked here recently? Submit a trip report!
There are 138 trip reports for this hike. See all trip reports for this hike.
Pete Lake, Pete Lake - Trail 1329 — Jan 04, 2014 — rakajima
Day hike
Issues: Blowdowns | Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
5/5 stars: Provided you have the right equipment, this trail is a winter wonderland right now. We ha...
5/5 stars: Provided you have the right equipment, this trail is a winter wonderland right now. We had visited in July and found it to be breathtaking but overrun with mosquitoes. Hiking it in the winter showcases a whole other side of this beautiful trail.

I definitely recommend going when it's around or below freezing. Large stretches of the trail were covered in ice. Ten degrees warmer and much of it would have been a mucky bog, but with everything frozen, it was clean and easy to walk with traction devices. We wore IceTrekkers over our waterproof boots and they performed admirably. The only dicey areas in terms of slipping were the spots where bare rocks were covered by frost or ice too thin for the IceTrekkers to get a grip. After a few of these, you can recognize them pretty easily.

This trail definitely requires traction devices of some sort. Besides the IceTrekers, we packed snowshoes, but we ended up not using them. The snow wasn't deep enough to make them necessary until the final half-mile, and it was easier at that point to just walk in the footsteps of the person who had gone before us.

The only other challenge about this trail is the numerous stream crossings. Some are just deep enough to potentially go over the top of your boots if you were to walk through, so you have to skip over stones or balance over logs to cross them. Two healthy adults would have no problem, but kids might get wet. My wife found some of them to be a little challenging, but we worked together and made it through with nary a frozen foot.

It took us 2.5 hours to make it from the parking lot to the lake, and about 2.25 hours to get back. You definitely want to get an early start if you're heading out to this trail from the Seattle area. It took us about 2.5 hours from Seattle to the trailhead, including stopping to put on chains (which you will need to do right now on the way up the Forest Service road leading to the trail). Be sure to pack headlamps too. We hurried on the way back and arrived at our car by about 4:55 pm and it was pitch black by 5:15. Being on the trail by about 10:30 or 11:00 would have made it possible to spend a more leisurely time at the lake and on the way back.

Really fantastic trail. We're going to try it again later in the season.
Read full report with photos
Pete Lake — Nov 11, 2013 — sarahnava
Day hike
Issues: Water on trail | Snow on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
This is my first ever trip report! I have been using the WTA page all summer for my field work and ...
This is my first ever trip report! I have been using the WTA page all summer for my field work and it's been super helpful! The snow level has dropped lower up here in the Cascades and the last 5 miles of the drive to the trailhead had a couple of inches of snow on the snow with tracks to drive in. The Pete Lake Trail was covered by about 4 inchs of snow throughout the entire trail, with areas of slush and compacted snowed. I made it to the lake in 1 hour and 40 mins and then back in the same amount of time. Reading the previous trail reports that mentioned water on the trail,I decided to wear my Xtra Tuff rain boots and some traction devices on the bottom, which worked out well. The trail will probably be good for snowshoeing in a couple of weeks when we get more snow!
Read full report
Tired Creek, Polallie Ridge, Pete Lake — Nov 01, 2013 — Eric Jain
Day hike
Features: Fall foliage
Expand report text Hide report text
Started at the Pete Lake trailhead around 9am. The roads were in perfect condition (and paved), exce...
Started at the Pete Lake trailhead around 9am. The roads were in perfect condition (and paved), except for the last mile.

Followed the Tired Creek trail up to the lookout site. Steep, but no real snow or blowdowns. Continued a bit along Polallie Ridge to the highpoint (some patches of snow), but didn't find any better views than at the lookout site.

Didn't see anyone all day (though there was another car in the parking lot, and fresh horse tracks).

Photos: https://picasaweb.google.com/[…]/PolallieRidgeNovember2013
Tracklog: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/398501750
Read full report with photos
Pete Lake — Oct 11, 2013 — George & Sally
Day hike
Features: Fall foliage
Issues: Blowdowns | Mudholes | Water on trail
Expand report text Hide report text
We headed over to the Salmon La Sac area for a hike to Pete Lake. Only one other car at the parking ...
We headed over to the Salmon La Sac area for a hike to Pete Lake. Only one other car at the parking lot when we arrived. The Forest Service restroom was unlocked and even had t.p. The trail to the lake has many ups and downs along the way. There are many mud hole areas on this trail to skirt around. Also eight major creek crossings and several minor ones. Most are just rock hops, with a couple, because of deeper water, we had to go off trail to get over. The last big one before getting to the lake will get your boots wet, so don't wear sneakers as your feet will be soaked. Two of the bigger ones are dried up. There is one large old snag that has fallen across the trail, but you can get around it on the butt end. There is also water running down the trail about 1/4 mile before getting to the junction with Trail 1323.1. The water is seeping out of the ground and flowing in the trail for a couple of hundred feet, but only an inch or two deep.

About 1/4 mile from the trailhead we had nice views of Cooper River. The vine maples have turned bright yellow so give this hike some color. We also passed some small meadows where we saw elk tracks, but no elk. A short distance from the lake, we hiked through a grove of really big Douglas Firs probably six to eight hundred years old. On this trip we did see a buck and doe, a coyote, chipmunks, plus some ducks and a dipper bird at the lake. While driving to the trailhead on the Salmon La Sac Road a little past the Last Resort we spotted a flock of wild turkeys.

After getting to the lake we met Isaac, a hiker from Israel. He had come over on a vacation trip to visit some of the western national parks. But with the U.S. government shut down and the parks closed he had to make other plans. The day before he had hiked to Colchuck Lake. He brought a small stove and brewed up some Israeli coffee. After lunch and visiting with Isaac, Sally and I headed back where we met one backpacker going to Spectacle Lake, six horse riders, and two guys with two small children who were going to get wet feet since they were wearing sneakers instead of boots.

This is a nice Fall hike before the snow gets lower down in the valley. Nine miles round trip with a little over 400' gain. There are some uphill sections on the return trip.
Read full report with photos
Pete Lake - Trail 1329 — Sep 13, 2013 — petenice
Overnight
Expand report text Hide report text
First real backpack trip with my 20 month old daughter. Pete Lake was the perfect choice. Got a late...
First real backpack trip with my 20 month old daughter. Pete Lake was the perfect choice. Got a late start on Saturday (nap boycott), hit the trail around noon. Gorgeous forest. No bugs. Easy walking conditions. Found a lovely camp spot at the north end of the lake where the creek enters. Big pebbly beach for baby to splash in puddles. Some warm, some freezing. Lots of nice camp sites along north side of the lake. Where we camped could have easily accommodated three groups. Hiked out Sunday. Only gripe is mass horse bunk on trail. Yech.
Read full report
Pete Lake by brink.jpg
Pete Lake by Brink
WTA worked here!
2010
Location
Pete Lake (#1323)
Snoqualmie Pass -- Snoqualmie Pass
Cle Elum Ranger District
Statistics
Roundtrip 9.0 miles
Elevation Gain 400 ft
Highest Point 3200 ft
Features
Lakes
Wildflowers/Meadows
Mountain views
Wildlife
Established campsites
User info
Good for kids
May encounter pack animals
Northwest Forest Pass required
Guidebooks & Maps
Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Pass (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)
Green Trails Kachess Lake No. 208

Improve or add to this guidebook entry

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

Map it
Red MarkerPete Lake
47.43495 -121.18545
  • Volunteer Vacations 2014
  • Youth Vacations 2014
  • Volunteer Vacations 2010
(47.4350, -121.1855) Open in new window
Document Actions
  • Print this
  • Share
Get the Guidebooks

Mountaineers three booksSelect content from The Mountaineers Books' guidebooks is featured in this Hiking Guide. Sales of the books from this website help protect and maintain trails.

> Shop Now

More hikes » Hike of the Week
Diablo Lake Trail (Apr 17)

Diablo Lake

North Cascades

Follow the Diablo Lake Trail up and across talus slopes on the flanks of Sourdough Mountain to impressive cascading waterfalls and stunning views. This hike in the North Cascades Institute's backyard makes a great option for an early season hike in stunning North Cascades National Park, much of which is inaccessible during the winter and spring.

Get Trail News

Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking news, events, gear reviews and more.

What's Happening
Trails and Ales - Spokane 2014 Apr 22, 2014 Meet fellow hikers and raise a glass for trails!
GiveBIG 2014 May 06, 2014 Donate to WTA during The Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG event and grow your impact on trails!
Hiker Potluck in Vancouver May 28, 2014 Come out for an evening of great food, meet other hikers and learn what is happening on trails near you.
More »