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Pratt Lake Basin

Snoqualmie Region

Location

Snoqualmie Region -- North Bend Area
View map below

Length

11.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 2300 ft.
Highest Point: 4100 ft.

Rating

3.82 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2020
 
 
 

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.

 

Pratt Lake Basin

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.3979, -121.4861 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Snoqualmie Region -- North Bend Area

Pratt Lake (#1007)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District

See weather forecast

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

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.

 

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Pratt Lake Basin

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