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Lake Lillian

Snoqualmie Region


Snoqualmie Region -- Snoqualmie Pass
View map below


9.0 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 2000 ft.
Highest Point: 5300 ft.


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WTA worked here: 2010

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

The Alpine Lakes Wilderness may be reached from numerous trail heads along the I-90 corridor. This little trail-gem sparkles, hidden in Snoqualmie Pass. It varies in terrain from abandoned logging road, through clear cut, all the way up to pristine alpine lake(s) nestled into a glacier scoured cirque. Seasonal changes make this medium difficulty hike worth returning to time and time again.

When you’ve left your car be certain to follow the directions on the sign: “Trailhead 100 Yards Up Road”. Walk those 100 yards, then take a spur road off to your left.

Formerly gated (the yellow posts indicate this), it's now simply a road. Walk up this road for a half-mile. The logging-road-turned-trail is fairly soul-less, though wildflowers flourish in the disturbed soils and the trees are gaining height. Magnificent blooms of beargrass are abundant here in late June and early July.

After a half mile on this second road, your route intersects with a narrow, winding trail. Look for a brown pole with a small sign featuring a hiking symbol and arrow pointing left. Start hiking up this true trail, through an old clearcut.

After 1.5 miles of hiking, find yourself in a clearing where there is a sign with arrows indicating the Lake Lillian and Margaret Lake trails. Since you're heading Twin Lakes and Lake Lillian, take the trail marked just for Lake Lillian.  

From here, the trail descends to Twin Lakes over the course of a mile. Sandy bottomed and warm, this can be a perfect turn around point or meadow to luxuriate in. Stick with the most heavily trodden path bending off left of the lakes and cross the lake outlet/meadow.

If you're heading to Lake Lillian, the trail does a fair amount of up and down, rising, descending, and then rising steeply before reaching Lake Lillian. Along the way you will cross the toe of a sizable talus slope. Just as you get to the southern edge of the talus look for a waterfall cascading down Rocky Run to your left.

Lake Lillian will almost be a surprise when you pop over the ridge to it. The water is pristine, the granite and sparse hemlocks gorgeously framing this aquamarine paradise. The lake banks are steep so exploring can be difficult although a climbers track runs up the east side of the lake towards Rampart Ridge and beyond for the adventurous. Linger here at the lake for an hour or a day or two. You’ve only just crossed into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.


Lake Lillian

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.3642, -121.3582 Open map in new window


Snoqualmie Region -- Snoqualmie Pass

Lake Lillian (#1332)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Cle Elum Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

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

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

Buy the Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass No. 207 map

Getting There

Exit I-90 at Hyak exit 54. If you are coming from Seattle, turn left at the stop sign at the end of the ramp. Proceed under the highway and continue a short distance to a stop sign. Reset your odometer here and turn right onto Gold Creek Road.

This road will parallel the highway for a while before turning up into the hills (road called FS 4832, Rocky Run Rd). At 2.5 miles it will turn to dirt. At 3.8 miles there will be a left turn; DO NOT TAKE IT. At 3.9 miles take the left fork. At 4.3 miles you will reach the parking lot on your left. The trail begins a hundred yards or so up on the left.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

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Lake Lillian

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