Snow Lake / Gem Lake '03, Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, October 3, 2003 page 1 / 21
Libby and I found another of Washington's hiking treasures the other day in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. We've lived in western Washington for 16 years and just visited Snow Lake and Gem Lake for the first time. The trailhead is reached via the north side of Snoqualmie Pass. One popular hiking book for Washington state indicates the trailhead is two miles north of interstate 90. The trail actually begins 1.4 miles north of the highway, at 3100 feet of elevation. The trail gradually climbs up the eastern side of the South Fork of the Snoqualmie river valley. A few switchbacks (2.5 miles up) lead to a 4400-foot pass where Snow Lake can first be seen.