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Source Lake

Snoqualmie Region > Snoqualmie Pass
47.4454, -121.4230 Map & Directions
Length
4.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1000 feet
Highest Point
4100 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Moderate
Source Lake from the end of the trail. Photo by dpatlak. Full-size image
  • Mountain views
  • Lakes
  • Rivers

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

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. Continue reading

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Hiking Source Lake

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.

Hike Description Written by
Multiple authors contributed to this report, WTA Community

Source Lake

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.4454, -121.4230 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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

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

From Seattle, drive east on I-90 to exit 52, signed for Snoqualmie Pass West. Turn left (north), crossing under the freeway, and continue to the end of the road at the Alpental Ski Area parking lot.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Snoqualmie Region > Snoqualmie Pass

Source Lake (#1013.2)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

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

Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass No. 207

Buy the Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass No. 207 map

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Source Lake

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