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Snow Lake and Annette Lake Trails to Close for Several Months

Posted by tiffanyc at Jul 05, 2022 02:50 PM |

The Annette Lake and Snow Lake trails, popular hikes along the I-90 corridor, will be closed for several months this summer due to trail construction work, funded by the Great American Outdoors Act. The work will require the use of potentially-dangerous tools, so the trails will close in the interest of safety.

** 7/11/2022 Update: The Annette Lake closure has been postponed to July 15. The Snow Lake closure has been postponed to July 29 **

The Annette Lake and Snow Lake trails, popular hikes along the I-90 corridor, will be closed for several months due to trail construction work. The Snow Lake closure will also affect the lesser-hiked Source Lake trail. 

The Annette Lake trail was scheduled to close beginning the week of July 5. The Snow Lake and Source Lake trails will be closed starting approximately July 16. Construction on the latter project will require explosives to get rid of some rockier trail segments, and will also level out sections of trail that are too steep.

Both projects require use of potentially-dangerous tools, so in the interest of safety, these trails will not be open to the public during construction. The Forest Service expects to finish both projects by October. 

View from Snow Lake near Snoqualmie Pass by Daniel Rice
Snow Lake Trail will be closed for most of the summer, along with Annette Lake and Source Lake trails. Photo by Daniel Rice.

The Forest Service projects focus on improving both trails, and the trail improvements are made possible by funding from the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA). The act provides $503 million dollars to address deferred maintenance issues on popular trails such as Snow Lake and Annette Lake. 

Alex Weinberg, recreation manager on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, is excited about this new funding and how it supports improvement projects for local outdoor recreation areas. Alex says the GAOA funding came at an opportune time; trails that have needed care to stand up to the number of visitors they receive can finally get it. 

“Many of our trails and trailheads were not built to withstand this type of use,” Alex said. “The investments we are making at popular trails such as Snow Lake and Annette Lake are extremely valuable because the work is intended to correct areas that are prone to erosion, repair grade issues, and in general bring these areas to a standard that can absorb the type of use we are experiencing so that the public can continue to enjoy these areas year after year without compromising natural resources.”

During the pandemic, Alex says land managers saw the enthusiasm Washingtonians have for the outdoors by how often they were on the trails. He hopes that by completing these trail construction projects, the trails will continue to last.

“As land managers, the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest is extremely excited to be given the opportunity to improve these and other facilities over the next few years so that we can provide the best possible experience to all visitors for many years to come,” Alex said. “As a valued partner, we are also excited to be partnering with WTA on various projects as well!”

While WTA won't be working on the Snow Lake or Annette Lake projects, we're working all over Washington this summer. Take a look at our work party schedule to join us somewhere on trail this year.

Trail work being done on Annette Lake Trail by Tony Kim
WTA has also previously done trail work on both Annette Lake, seen here, and Snow Lake trails. We won't be working on these Forest Service projects, but we have plenty of volunteer opportunities for those seeking trail work this summer. Photo by Tony Kim.

If any of these trails were on your to-do list, all is not lost, and WTA can help you plan your summer. Check out our suggestions for hikes like Snow Lake, look through our hiking guide to find other hikes for your hiking season or use our hike recommender, which can suggest personalized hikes for you. 

Comments

Bike-N-Hike on Snow Lake and Annette Lake Trails to Close for Several Months

If you really want to get your Snow Lake / Gem Lake fix, you can come up the back way on the Rock Creek Trail. Start from the Dingford TH (if you can stand driving the road!) and it's a nice day hike. I did the Rock Creek trail last year and contrary to some trail descriptions, it's in good shape and easy to follow.

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Bike-N-Hike on Jul 06, 2022 10:28 AM

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Mountain Lover on Jul 06, 2022 09:34 PM

upleft on Snow Lake and Annette Lake Trails to Close for Several Months

So if I do gem and snow from melakwa pass like usual I can't exit out of snow lake? What happens if I just find my way down through the construction? "Too steep"? This is one of the easiest trails in all of snoqualmie. Real tired of the nps/wta trail Karen's. We don't need signs that say "stay on trail" every 500ft on the way up to snow lake. I saw somone throwing them all in the woods anyways on the way down last year.

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upleft on Jul 13, 2022 01:05 PM

Washington Trails Association on Snow Lake and Annette Lake Trails to Close for Several Months

During this construction project, the Snow Lake trail will be completely closed. Hikers should not expect to be able to access any of the Snow Lake trail or exit at the Snow Lake trailhead during the closure.

One of WTA's goals is to create trails that can be enjoyed by everybody. As stated in the post, this trail is one that has been in need of maintenance for years. The temporary closure will result in improvements that will help it be accessible and enjoyed by the public for a long time.

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Washington Trails Association on Jul 13, 2022 03:53 PM

upleft on Snow Lake and Annette Lake Trails to Close for Several Months

I've backpacked here 25 years and won't start conforming now. This is the reason I have to hitch to the enchantments with what looks like a day pack to backpack there. This is why I have to park outside of zion and walk in with what looks like a day pack to backpack the west rim trail. This is why I have to hitch to the back of arches and backpack the devils garden for 2 weeks without telling a soul where I am. This is why we drive to the top of the sun road in glacier at 5am before the damn park even opens.Your entities and enforcement are ridiculous. You can delete any comments you like but the people who complete the pct, The real hikers in the know, none of us put up with this bs. If we want to backpack melawka pass and exit out of snow lake in the middle of the night we will. If the route down isn't clear will make another as usual. Just a bunch of trail Karen's making everything wheel chair accessible.

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upleft on Jul 13, 2022 10:57 PM

Scotsman on Snow Lake and Annette Lake Trails to Close for Several Months

Steep!!? This is supposed to be wilderness! Please stop turning it this area into an extension of the Seattle Parks Department, that's what Tiger Mountain is for.

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Scotsman on Jul 19, 2022 12:48 AM

clee22 on Snow Lake and Annette Lake Trails to Close for Several Months

Personally, I'm thrilled that this construction will make public lands more accessible to the public. It's a super weird flex to me when people brag about breaking rules that rely on goodwill, or complain about maintenance and trail building when they themselves wouldn't be there either without previous trail work and road construction and maps and trip reports that are provided through other government and nonprofit and volunteer channels. It's gross to gatekeep public lands and then also brag about disregarding rules intended to regulate their use. Anyway, thanks again to WTA and all the folks working to make sure this gorgeous place is accessible to newcomers and returning hikers alike, and to preserve and steward it to the best of our ability.

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clee22 on Jul 27, 2022 07:33 AM