Kendall Peak Lakes are three small lakes tucked in a forest and mountain ridges, covered with snow in the winter. There are excellent viewpoints along the road, which snowshowers sometimes enjoy more than the lakes. On a clear day mountains such as Rampart Ridge, Kendall Peak, Granite Mountain, Silver Peak and even Mount Rainier line the distant horizon.
Since the trailhead is about an hour from Seattle, the grade is gentle and the views superb, this is a popular destination. The route is relatively easy to follow because it follows an closed forest road. Experienced snowshoers who are good at route finding may go off the road and find their own routes to the lakes, but be aware of avalanche danger.
The trail starts at the large sign in the Gold Creek Sno-Park. A Sno-Park permit is necessary to park your car here from December through March. From the Sno-Park parking lot follow the forest road in a northeast direction. It is flat for the first 0.3 miles then the road turns north and starts to climb. On weekends this area is a popular playground for family with inner tubes and sleds. As you climb higher the crowds thin out.
At about 0.8 miles from the parking lot, the road turns sharply to the left. From here, more experienced snowshoers can go off the road and to find their own route. If you choose to stay on the road, follow it as it turns back on itself sharply to the right at about 1.3 miles from the parking lot. 1.6 miles from the parking lot, arrive at the base of a series of switchbacks. Here you can see Gold Creek Basin and Rampart Ridge to the east.
From here, it is a long steady climb. There are places you can view mountains such as Silver Peak, Denny Mountain and Snoqualmie Summit ski area to the west.
About three miles from the parking lot the road turns sharply right. Here again you can go off the road and find your own route if you are an experienced snowshoer, but take note - the incline of terrain here is steeper and more exposed than lower down. You must assess the avalanche danger. Following the road, you will reach a open flat area in about 0.3 mile. There is no view here, but if you continue south you reach a view point in another 0.3 mile.
From this viewpoint, back track to the open flat area and continue going north on the road. This area is open and exposed. At about 3.8 miles from the parking lot, the road turns right yet again. Here, you'll head off the road and go north, traversing across mostly level open slopes for 0.2 miles, where you arrive at the first of the three lakes. It is possible to reach the middle lake through the forest, but avoid making for the third lake because the trail is steep and it is not safe to approach it in the winter.
If you'd rather stay on the road, there are great views just 0.2 miles from where you head off for the lakes, at the end of the road. You can see Keechelus Lake, Rampart Ridge, and even Mount Rainier on a clear day.
Kendall Peak Lakes Snowshoe
- 9.0 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 1700 feet
- Highest Point
- 4400 feet
Hiking Kendall Peak Lakes Snowshoe
Kendall Peak Lakes Snowshoe
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 47.3978, -121.3952 Open in Google Maps