Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Margaret Lake

Margaret Lake

Snoqualmie Region > Snoqualmie Pass
47.3642, -121.3582 Map & Directions
6.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1500 feet
Highest Point
5100 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Lake Margaret. Photo by ericotm.
  • Mountain views
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Lakes
  • Ridges/passes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

Logging paid for most of the trails in the Cascades, so sometimes hikers must expect to hike the terrain that provided that rich stock of timber. This trail starts on an old logging road, leads through old clearcuts—now nicely regrown as lush berry meadows and forest stands—and enters lush old second-growth forest. It’s a great way to experience both the natural and human history of the area, while enjoying some remarkable wild country around a pristine alpine lake. Continue reading

3.32 out of 5

(34 votes) Log in to rate

Hiking Margaret Lake

Margaret Lake is a hidden gem within the I-90 corridor, just two exits beyond the heavily trafficked trails of the Snoqualmie Pass area. Its sweeping views of the valley give way to a dense yet beautiful forest before descending into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The stunning sight of Margaret nestled at the base of a peak, after only three short miles, propels the mind to want to continue the journey towards Lilian Lake after a lunch break and maybe a quick dip.

The parking lot (which can accommodate 25-30 cars) is located off to the left of the service road, a quarter-mile from the trailhead.

The hike begins by turning left out of the parking lot and continuing on the road itself a short distance before you see the trail head on the left hand side. Turn left and ascend the trail and you will soon see a trail sign on the right hand side, it is obscured by foliage and is invisible from the road. Little is left of the sign itself, just the post remains.

Very shortly afterwards pass through two metallic posts - all that remains of an old, rusty gate - and continue on a wide trail which once served as on old logging road. After one mile in total, turn left on the trail marked only suitable for hikers.

Though the Margaret Lake trail is not heavily trafficked, it is extremely well-maintained and thick brush is minimal. The trail leads up through old clearcuts before entering the forest. Steady but not too steep, it switchbacks until reaching the junction for Margaret Lake at just over two miles.

Turn right at the junction and descend a steep path to the lake. There is a pond at the bottom of the descent with a man-made log bridge leading across. Continue on the trail for less than a quarter mile, where the occasional snow field is present, before arriving at Margaret Lake.

Margaret provides a host of sites to eat and even camp in solitude while enjoying the scenery. Follow the trail to the right around the lake and discover a plethora of options.

Hike Description Written by
Teddy Wingo, WTA Correspondent

Margaret Lake

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.3642, -121.3582 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

Drive on I-90 to Exit 54, signed for Hyak. Turn north and pass under the freeway, then turn right on the frontage road signed for Gold Creek. This road may be very crowded on weekends.

After a mile on this road, pass the parking area for Gold Crek road and continue straight onto FR 4832. You're driving east, paralleling the freeway, before the road pitches up. Nearly 4 miles from exiting the freeway, turn left onto FR 4934, and after a quarter mile, the parking area will be on your left.

More Hike Details


Snoqualmie Region > Snoqualmie Pass

Margaret Lake (#1332.1)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Cle Elum Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Snoqualmie Pass (Nelson & Bauer - Mountaineers Books)

Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass Gateway No. 207S

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Margaret Lake

350 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
Trip Reports