High Lakes Trail 1012


This trail is within Alpine lakes Wilderness. Wind your way through subalpine meadows and stands of mountain hemlock, silver and subalpine fir, passing vernal streams and tarns with fabulous views of Chair Peak, the Middle Fork Valley and Snow Lake below. Enjoy the reflection of Kaleetan Peak in Gem Lake on a quiet clear day.

The two-mile route from Snow Lake to Gem Lake is well traveled and can be very muddy in places, especially as the snow melts in early summer.  Snow can linger here until mid-July. Use extreme caution not to further disturb this over-used high country. Beyond Gem Lake the trail becomes more primitive and drops over the back side of a saddle to Wildcat Lake, a good destination for those seeking more solitude.

At a Glance

Usage: Heavy
Best Season: Summer/Fall
Restrictions: Wilderness regulations apply.
  • Llamas and goats only.
  • Dogs must be on leash.
  • Camp and travel only on pre-established trails and campsites.
  • Campfires are prohibited within 0.25 mile of Gem Lake in an attempt to restore the damage imposed upon the vegetation in this area.
Closest Towns: North Bend, Washington
Passes: A valid Recreation Pass is required at Snow Lake trailhead.
Information Center: Check current conditions or call Snoqualmie Ranger District, North Bend Office at 425-888-1421.

General Information


From North Bend, Washington travel east on I-90 and take exit #52. Turn north off the exit ramp and drive under the overpass. In 0.25 mile take the second right towards the Alpental Ski Area and park in the large lot to the left of the gate.

Hike the Snow Lake Trail #1013, leaving from the east side of the lot, for three miles until the junction with Rock Creek trail #1013.1 to the right, and the High Lakes Trail #1012 taking off from the left.

The trail can also be accessed via the Middle Fork Forest Service Road #56 and the Rock Creek Trail.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



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  Area/Length : 
3.9 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
3900 feet - 4100 feet