You are here: Home Find a Hike Trip Reports Park Lakes

Park Lakes

Aug 11, 2012

by Alex last modified Aug 26, 2012 10:34 AM
Type of Outing
Day hike
Read More in our Hiking Guide
Hike: Park Lakes
Region: Snoqualmie Pass -- Salmon La Sac/Teanaway
Why You Should Go Now
Wildflowers blooming
Be Aware Of
Water on trail
Overlooking Spectacle Lake
A beautiful day for a hike!

There is a river less than .25mi in that requires either a ford or a walk down stream to some fallen trees to cross. We opted for the trees and it was a relatively easy crossing. Find the trail again, and continue to the fork. Signs point right to Park Lakes. Follow an old mining trail to another (easy) river/stream crossing.

There has been some trail work done about 1.5mi in, clearing a significant amount of brush from the trail. After that, though, the going is rough for about a mile, as the trail is covered in overgrown vine maple. At times, it's tough to see your feet, and the trail is a footpath past the old mining road.

This trail has some very steep climbs, making for a tough ascent and descent. There are some blow downs, one of which was a little difficult to maneuver around but absolutely doable. Right before the first Park Lake, there are several steep switch backs - again, this isn't a "built" trail, although it is never hard to find.

Park Lakes Basin is beautiful - but bugs! We were eaten alive. I highly recommend long pants for this one, especially with the overgrown trail. I wore shorts and was bitten and scratched up after finishing this hike. The basin is a maze of trails, some of which have been closed for restoration - please respect the signs or where there clearly had been a sign!

We stopped for lunch at the first lake but moved on quickly because, again - bugs! Continue to the right to head up to the PCT and Upper Park Lake.

The PCT was in excellent condition and we stopped for water at Upper Park Lake. We continued up to the pass overlooking Spectacle lake and, just was we arrived, two fighter jets roared overhead. I'm sure their training runs irritate many hikers, but I personally think it's pretty cool. Anyway, we found some people camping up there who had retreated due to bugs. We took some pictures and headed back. It would have been really nice to continue on to Spectacle, which was absolutely beautiful, but we didn't have enough time.

Overall a good hike, but be ready for an overgrown trail and bugs. This one isn't particularly easy! Have fun.
Pass above Spectacle Lake
Document Actions
  • Print this
  • Share

More hikes » Hike of the Week
Columbia Hills State Park (Apr 24)

Columbia Hills State Park

South Cascades

From Dalles Mountain Ranch to Horsethief Butte, the rolling hills along the the Columbia River Gorge are blanketed in spring flowers. Ramble along until you find the perfect picnic spot on more than 12 miles of hiking trails. A meadowlark might even serenade you.

Get Trail News

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

What's Happening
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 »