The trek to Reflection and Louise Lakes is a quintessential Mount Rainier snowshoeing experience -- the bright, flat expanse of snow and ice covered mountain lakes, subalpine meadows that offer opportunities for romping, stupendous views of The Mountain and the Tatoosh Range, and the south end of the Mazama Ridge beckoning you to follow.
From the Narada Falls parking lot, your aim is to attain the Stevens Canyon Road atop the steep hill. Many people climb this slope, but it is prone to avalanches and WTA highly recommends this alternate route. Go past the warming hut and restrooms to find the trail that loops left through forest up to the road.
The risk of avalanche on the route that heads toward Inspiration Point (right on the road) is often high. To stay on the safe side, take the avalanche-free route to Reflection Lake (to the left) - a sign is there to guide you. This route is a bit more strenuous but the overall distance and elevation gain are about the same.
The route over the saddle climbs up and over Mazama Ridge, sometimes getting pretty steep, and drops into a large meadow and down to Reflection Lakes. Take time to bask along its shores before pushing on to Louise Lake.
If you choose to go to Louise Lakes, return to the road and follow it in an easterly direction as it drops steeply to Louise Lake - this a great place for a winter camp, where you can enjoy a spectacular sunrise and for spotting climbers on Mount Rainier.
Return the way you came.
Reflection and Louise Lakes Snowshoe
- 7.0 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 560 feet
- Highest Point
- 5100 feet
Chinook Pass and Stevens Canyon Road are closed for the season