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Sunday Lake

Snoqualmie Region

Tucked into a corner of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness is Sunday Lake, a road less traveled that abounds in wildflowers, berries, fauna, historical artifacts, old growth, and alpine littoral habitat. Much more than the gentle woodland saunter implied by the 300-foot elevation change, the route to Sunday Lake requires the fording of Sunday Creek in spring and fall, making it an adventure any day of the week. Continue reading

Location

Snoqualmie Region -- North Bend Area
Jump to Map & Directions

Length

6.2 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 355 ft.
Highest Point: 1900 ft.

Rating

2.62 out of 5

(13 votes) Log in to rate
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Wildlife
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Old growth
  • Lakes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

WTA worked here in 2020!

Sunday Lake is quietly tucked away in the shadow of Goat Mountain, and reaching this destination will require attention to driving landmarks and the odometer. The trailhead resides unceremoniously off NF-5700, on private property, and the only distinguishing mark is the yellow Gate 30, located to your right upon arrival. Park at the gate, and walk southeast 0.2 miles down an unassuming access road until reaching the official Forest Service kiosk for Sunday Lake No. 1000. Continue into a boggy area, and at 0.4 miles encounter single-track raised planks and route around the wettest spots. The first 0.7 miles of your route travel through marshy grassland chock full of dandelions, miner’s lettuce, pearly everlasting, goldenrod, aster, salal, fireweed, and even skunk cabbage.

The route becomes a trail, temporarily leaving behind the bog and meandering gently upward through second-growth forest of Douglas fir, Western hemlock, and red cedar. At 1.4 miles pass through a patch of recovering alder, with huckleberry, salmonberry, and devil’s club dominating the ground cover. Watch out for occasional blowdowns and sinkholes, as this trail does not receive frequent maintenance.

One and a half miles into the journey, descend to the rocky bed of Sunday Creek. In late spring and early summer the creek may be up to three feet deep; flip-flops and poles may be needed to ford the creek. Place your electronic devices in water-tight bags. Watch for Cascades frogs in and near the creek, and follow cairns to the continuation of the trail on the west bank of the creek.

The trail reenters forest, assuming a less manicured and rockier nature. Old growth emerges, with silver fir joining the hemlocks and Doug firs. Siberian miner’s lettuce, foxglove, and a cornucopia of ferns decorate the trail. Watch for bear scat, European black slugs, and red-legged frogs at your feet. 1.8 miles into the journey you may notice relatively conspicuous logging artifacts, including a logging trailer and oil drums that never made the journey home.

Approaching the three mile mark, the terrain again becomes boggy, and the trail descends slightly. At three miles, the trail forks in front of an old-growth Doug fir. To the left is a campsite and lower Sunday Lake; to the right and upward is Sunday Lake proper, another 0.3 miles from the fork.

In late summer, the lower lake may become dry, revealing fallen tree trunks and the spot where Sunday Creek dives underground. At the upper part of the lake, take in the reflection of Goat Mountain as dragonflies zip past and you meditate upon your escape from the hiking multitudes of the Snoqualmie region.

Hike by WTA Correspondents
Maxwell Krem

Sunday Lake

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.6467, -121.5956 Open in Google Maps

Trailhead

Snoqualmie Region -- North Bend Area

Sunday Lake (#1000)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District

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Getting There

In North Bend, drive to the intersection of E North Bend Way and Ballarat Ave N. Turn north on Ballarat Ave N. In 0.6 miles, Ballarat Ave N curves to the right and becomes 108th St NE. Continue a half mile, then keep left on 428th Ave SE. Continue on 428th Ave SE, which will transition into N Fork Road SE, for 2.9 miles until reaching a fork four miles from the intersection of North Bend Way and Ballarat. At the fork, take N Fork Rd SE up and to the left.

Shortly after passing the fork, N Fork Rd SE transitions to gravel, and the name changes to NF-5700. Maps may indicate other name changes, but stay on the main road for 13.9 miles. The following landmarks may help: at 9 miles there is a stream crossing on a wooden bridge; at 10.1 miles cross a concrete bridge. At 12.6 miles, cross over a red metal bridge heading east. At 13.9 miles from the fork, watch for a yellow “Gate 30” on the right. Park near the gate as best you can.

Drive carefully on the road, as there are numerous blind turns. The approximate drive time from North Bend is one hour.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Sunday Lake

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