Surprise Creek Trail 1060


Start hiking under power lines that quickly transition to a tree canopy and enter Alpine Lakes Wilderness. All along the trail catch glimpses of waterfalls ranging from two to six feet and clear pools. Begin switchbacking after 2.5 miles as the trail steepens up the side of the valley for about a mile, gaining close to 1,000 feet in elevation.

For a northbound connection to  Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail 2000 to Trap Pass, take spur trail 1060.1 four miles from the Surprise Creek trailhead. Continue on the main trail past the intersection over the lip of the lake basin to Surprise Lake at 4,500 feet with several campsites. Lounge on rocks along the shoreline and enjoy the view. Continue south along the east side of Surprise Lake and end at the junction with Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail 2000 just north of Glacier Lake at 4,800 feet where you’ll find another several campsites.

Washington Trails Association

At a Glance

Permit Info: Alpine Lakes Wilderness self-issue permit is required for day and overnight use, obtained at the trailheads from May 15 to October 31.
Open Season: Late June
Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Summer / Fall
Restrictions: The Surprise Creek Trail is within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area where wilderness regulations apply.
  • The trail is hiker only.
  • Maximum group size is 12.
  • Dogs must be on a leash.
  • Camp in established campsites.
Closest Towns: Skykomish, Washington
Water: No water on trail.
Information Center: Check current conditions or call Skykomish Ranger District office at 360-677-2414.

General Information


From Monroe, WA take US Highway 2 east for about 43 miles to mile marker 58.7, between the town and Skykomish and Stevens Pass. Turn south onto an unmarked road to the service center for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. Cross the railroad tracks. Turn onto the spur road on the far right. Continue for 0.2 miles to the trailhead.

General Notes:

Stay out of areas closed for restoration.


  • Skykomish Ranger District
  • Green Trails #176

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  Area/Length : 
4.7 miles one-way

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
2,200 feet - 4,900 feet