Once again I headed out for a great snowshoe with my favorite meetup group. This time our destination was Kendall Peak Lakes in the Snoqualmie Region.
Here are the stats:
Distance: 9 Miles, Elevation gain 1,700 ft., High Point 4,400 ft.
Parking permit required: Sno-Parks Permit. After my posting about Gold Creek pond a couple of friends of mine noted that they thought you need both the Sno-Parks permit and the Discovery pass in this area. I believe this to be untrue. The signs at the trailhead only indicated a Sno-Park permit was needed. The WTA site had the same information. Per the WTA site, “a Sno-Park permit is necessary to park your car here from December through March.”
It is worth mentioning to get here early the parking fills up quickly.
For more info and directions see kendall-peak-lakes-snowshoe
This trail follows an old closed forest road and was pretty packed down at the start so we started out with our microspikes and strapped our snowshoes to our bag. We ended up putting on our snowshoes at about mid-point as the snow became softer and less packed-down. The trail starts out with a flat section for about .3 miles then it’s a steady climb to the lakes. At 1.6 miles from the parking lot, arrive at the base of a series of switchbacks. On a clear day you can see Gold Creek Basin and Rampart Ridge to the east, unfortunately at this point we were still in the fog bank.
Eventually you get to an open flat area, apparently there are no views here, but we would not have been able to tell with the fog. From here continue south to another view-point (about .3 miles). We got lucky at this point to be above the fog bank and there were great mountain views including Mount Rainier. We stopped here to enjoy the view and have some lunch.
At about 3.8 miles from the parking lot (where we had lunch) The old forest road turns right. Here you will go off the road and go north, crossing mostly-level open slopes arriving at the first of the three lakes. It is possible to reach the middle lake through the forest, but avoid making for the third lake because the trail is steep and it is not safe to approach it in the winter. I was tired and decided I was happy just visiting the first lake, others went on to the second, but I knew my limits. This area was lovely, so I took my time and snapped more photos.
The views of the mountains were even more impressive on our way back down as some of the fog continued to lift. It was another great day in the Pacific Northwest. Still living the movie.