If you want to see the headwaters of the mighty Snoqualmie River, head for the source. Source Lake, that is. It's a modest pond, but the setting is remarkable. Craggy peaks ring this pool, found along the way to one of the state's most popular alpine lake -- Snow Lake.
The trail departs from the north end of the main parking lot of the Alpental Ski Area, which on any given Saturday or Sunday will fill to capacity. Go early or prepare to be friendly! After an initial 200-foot climb up log steps, the trail settles down for a gradual ascent in forest. A mile in, a talus slope offers a break in the trees and views of a landscape that has suddenly grown exponentially more rugged than the parking lot you just left. In the distance, Chair Peak stands tall at the end of a jagged ridge rising over the far side of the valley.
In another three quarters of a mile, the trail switchbacks to the right – it’s time to start a mercifully short climb. Here, the trail begins to climb. Look for a spur trail disappearing upvalley. This is your route.
Follow the short spur trail to an overlook of Source Lake, the headwaters of the Snoqualmie River’s south fork.
- 4.5 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 1,000 feet
- Highest Point
- 4,100 feet
In winter the trail to Source Lake crosses a large avalanche chute early in the hike. Please have experience navigating avalanche terrain and the proper equipment when hiking this trail in the winter
Hiking Source Lake
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 47.4454, -121.4230 Open in Google Maps