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, 100 yards 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 trailhead 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 as hikers only.
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 and 1,500 feet of elevation gain. You gain another 300 feet of elevation coming back from the lake to this junction.
Turn right at the junction and descend a steep path to the lake. There is a pond named Lake Yvonne at the bottom of the descent. Continue on the trail for less than a quarter mile, where the occasional snow field is present in the early season, 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.