A steep and seldom traveled trail settled in what is now Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Nordrum Lake provides giant old-growth conifers, rivers, streams, waterfalls – and quite a workout! This narrow path cuts off the Taylor River/Snoqualmie Lake trail after about 6.5 miles, and doesn’t stop climbing until you reach the lake at about 3675’. But don’t worry, the giant cedars and firs provide shade throughout the entirety of the hike, keeping you cool on even the hottest of summer days.
Beginning at the Snoqualmie Lake Trailhead, hike along the mostly flat Taylor River Trail for 6.5 miles, catching glimpses of the river, along with multiple waterfalls. 6.5 miles in, you will come to a Y in the trail. To the left is marked for Snoqualmie, Deer, Bear, and Dorothy Lakes. Keep right for Nordrum Lake. Before long, the trail will bring you right to the river, where you will need to cross using a downed tree or two. This may prove to be tricky in the spring but poses little risk when the run-off is mostly gone for the season. The trail then begins to narrow, and carve its way through soft earth, roots, and moss. GPS and route-finding skills will become your best friend for the remainder of the trail. When in doubt, search around for the many well-placed cairns and tape pieces, marking crucial turns.
About 1.5 miles from the Y, the trail will approach a smooth rock waterfall. Cairns and tape will mark that you need to cross here. Gauge your comfort level with the seasonal water level and determine if you should cross or turn back.
Another .5 miles and you will approach a small boulder field with multiple downed trees. Immediately cut up the hill along the largest downed tree, and cut right upon hitting the top of it. You will see the trail continuing ahead.
Most of the climbing has been completed at this point – the trail will flatten once or twice, before a short but steep descent into the lake basin. Enjoy the large, extremely deep lake, surrounded by mountains and talus slopes. Exploring the lake can prove to be rather difficult with the thick brush all around, so kick back and enjoy this quiet lake – most likely all to yourself.