An alpine blue beauty along a short, fairly easy trail and only a stone’s throw from Snoqualmie Pass!?
You know that is going to draw a crowd on a sunny weekend!
- Grade: maintained trail
- Distance: 1 mile-ish
- Elevation gain: 650′ + –
The Mirror Lake trail #1302 is short but sweet, packing two lakes and a fair share of views in under two miles.
The hiking trail begins where the forest road turns Jeep trail. A sign bearing the trails name marks the spot.
Follow the Jeep trail up, watching for a boot path (usually marked) leading off to your left (west).
The trail traverses forest and shrub, gradually ascending to Cottonwood Lake. Rough paths break off the main trail down to it’s waters.
When you’ve had your fill of whatever one does at Cottonwood Lake, continue west, gaining slighty more strenuous elevation towards Mirror Lake.
At roughly the site of a small meadow the trail intersects with the PCT, a few steps further and you’re looking at the lake.
“OH GIVE ME A HOME”
There are quite a few camping sites around Mirror Lake but they can and do fill up.
No backcountry bathroom facilities seem to exist at the lake and it gets a lot of visitors. Do the math.
Consider WAG bagging!
If you still got some time and energy to burn, look around the south western end of the lake for a rugged path up Tinkham Peak, there are some nice views from up top for those that earn em’.
Also at the south end of the lake; poke around along the PCT to find the delightful Mirror Lake Falls as it descends toward Yakima Pass. Tea stained and marshy Twilight Lake lies beyond.
North on the PCT will take you into a whole other microcosm of hikes in Cold Creek basin.
While I can’t personally vouch for catching fish here, I understand that there are cutthroats swimming around.
You didn’t hear this from me, but an old timer told me they used to plant Golden Trout here back in the day.
Shore access is ample but tree lined. Perhaps if ye could float…
From whichever direction you are coming from on the I-90 make your way to the exit#62 Stampede Pass/Kachess Lake.
Head south on Forest Road 54, keeping an eye out for a “Lost Lake” sign. Around a mile or so from the exit you’ll wanna take a right onto Forest Road 5480.
Continue down this road for another 4 miles before passing Lost Lake.
Another couple miles beyond the lake and you’re there. If it’s a busy weekend you’ll know you’re close when you see cars parked along the road.
You’ll need a NW Forest Pass for parking.
The available parking at the trailhead is primitive to say the least. During peak usage you’ll have to park along the road.
USGS Lost Lake