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Pratt Lake Basin

Snoqualmie Region > North Bend Area
47.3979, -121.4861 Map & Directions
Length
11.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
2300 feet
Highest Point
4100 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Hard
Pratt Lake surrounded by thick forest. Photo by jackfhebert. Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Ridges/passes
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Established campsites
  • Mountain views
  • Old growth
  • Waterfalls
  • Lakes

You’re bound to run into all manner of people on the Pratt Lake Trail: trail runners, families, beginning hikers, backpackers hungry for a night out in the woods, even folks looking for fish (in the lakes, not on the trail). All that traffic does a number on the trail, but fortunately WTA work parties have worked hard here, ensuring that all trail users can easily follow the picturesque path to Pratt Lake. Continue reading

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Hiking Pratt Lake Basin

You’re bound to run into all manner of people on the Pratt Lake Trail: trail runners, families, beginning hikers, backpackers hungry for a night out in the woods, even folks looking for fish (in the lakes, not on the trail). All that traffic does a number on the trail, but fortunately WTA work parties have worked hard here, ensuring that all trail users can easily follow the picturesque path to Pratt Lake.

The first mile may be crowded, but after passing a junction with the popular Granite Mountain trail, the crowds disperse – or at least spread out. Hike along the wide Pratt Lake Trail, crossing several sweet streams fed by snowbanks high up on the flanks of Granite Mountain. In early spring, these stream crossings can be high, even treacherous, so evaluate each crossing for safety according to your own ability.

Three miles in, you’ll come to a junction. The left-hand fork leads to the Ollalie Lake Trail in just 0.2 miles, but Pratt Lake is found by taking the right-hand fork, which traverses the hillside and then begins climbing to a junction with the Island Lake/Mount Defiance Trail after 1.2 miles. Just before this junction, you’ll reach a clear spot in the trail, where Ollalie Lake lies still and green in the valley below you, and Rainier hovers straight ahead. In this open area, beargrass flourishes in early spring. It’s a great spot for a snack and photo opportunity.

At the junction for Island Lake, take the right hand path that heads down into Pratt Lake Basin. All the climbing you have done from the trailhead is now reversed, as you switchback steeply down a forested hillside to open granite talus slopes. Here the trail is quite exposed – be sure to bring (and use) your sunscreen. Hike down the talus to a marshy section that sometimes requires bug juice – mosquitos and black flies can be an irritation here, but a breeze can lessen their onslaught.
This marshy area opens onto yet another talus field. Stop for a moment to take in the sapphire-blue waters of Pratt Lake before pressing on. From here it’s less than half a mile to the Pratt Lake campgrounds and day use areas.

WTA Pro Tip: Camping at Pratt Lake makes a great base camp for backcountry adventures, including fishing (catch-and-release), a short stroll to Lower Tuschohatchie Lake just 0.6 miles away, or a day hike to Melakwa Lake, a more demanding six-mile roundtrip hike.

WTA worked here in 2020, 2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010!

Hike Description Written by
Anna Roth, WTA Staff

Pratt Lake Basin

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.3979, -121.4861 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

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, head east on I-90 to exit 47. Turn left and drive over the freeway, then turn left at the T. Proceed to the nearby Pratt Lake-Granite Mountain parking area. Be aware that this parking area gets very full and with people parking on both sides of the road, sometimes leaving is harder than finding a spot. Northwest Forest Pass and Alpine Lakes Wilderness Permit required; both available at the trailhead.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Snoqualmie Region > North Bend Area

Pratt Lake (#1007)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

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

100 Hikes in Alpine Lakes

#86 (Ira Spring

Harvey Manning

Vicki Spring)

Buy the Green Trails Bandera No. 206 map

Buy the Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass No. 207 map

Buy the Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass Gateway No. 207S map

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Pratt Lake Basin

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