Seattle, WA: Lake Dorothy and Snoqualmie Lake

Travel a trail lush with old-growth forests to four majestic lakes nestled in Snoqualmie National Forest.
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Travel a trail lush with old-growth forests to four majestic lakes nestled in Snoqualmie National Forest.

Save a weekend for this 12.8-mile trek that links four wooded lakes (Dorothy, Bear, Deer, and Snoqualmie) roughly 75 mile east of Seattle. From the parking area at the end of the road, follow Dorothy Lake Trail #1072 to the southeast. The trail crosses a bridge over Camp Robber Creek and climbs a set of log steps to the northern edge of Dorothy Lake. Ringed by large granite cliffs and sandy beaches, this finger-shaped lake is a popular destination for dayhikers and anglers.
From here, the trail travels 2.3 miles to the southern edge of the lake before heading west for a steep switchback climb to a pass above Bear Lake. At the top of the pass, drop down to Bear Lake (mile 5), then Deer Lake (mile 5.3). After a small crest, descend a series of gradual switchbacks to the banks of Snoqualmie Lake. Set up camp, then fish for trout, or soak in the warm water. Follow the same route back to the trailhead.
Info: Dorothy Lake Trail #1072
-Mapped by David Tate

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 20.6

Waypoints

SNO001

Location: 47.609131, -121.386247

From the small parking area at the end of the road, follow Dorothy Lake Trail #1072 to the southeast. This trail leads to Dorothy, Bear, Deer, and Snoqualmie lakes.

SNO002

Location: 47.59945, -121.386416

A trail junction leads to the inlet of Dorothy Lake and to a day-use area. Take a rest on one of the sandy beaches surrounded by granite cliffs. Restrooms are available at the site and campsites are close by. Note: Dorothy Lake has day-use areas (with a no camp policy) and 32 designated campsites.

SNO003

Location: 47.575353, -121.376449

At the washed out bridge, use boulders to cross the creek.

SNO004

Location: 47.576794, -121.383691

Start a switchback climb to a pass above Bear Lake (and the route's high point). Prepare for the steepest grade of the hike.

SNO005

Location: 47.575064, -121.388283

The switchbacks end just before reaching the high point.

SNO006

Location: 47.57654, -121.389688

Crest the 3,864-foot pass (dotted with blueberries). Towering old-growth forest of cedars and firs flank the trail. Hemlock, which is also abundant, drops its cones everywhere.

SNO007

Location: 47.574673, -121.398218

Continue past Bear Lake for 0.3 mile to reach Deer Lake.

SNO008

Location: 47.57282, -121.402767

Continue along the western edge of Deer Lake toward Snoqualmie Lake. Like most other lakes along the trail, it can be completely shrouded in fog depending on the weather. Make sure you check the weather reports beforehand to maximize your view.

SNO009

Location: 47.570463, -121.40423

Reach a small crest before descending gradual switchbacks to Snoqualmie Lake.

SNO010

Location: 47.573001, -121.416296

Campsites at the outlet of Snoqualmie Lake make for the perfect end to a dayhike. Pitch a tent, try your hand at catching a trout, and take a dip to relax. Next day: Follow the same route back to the trailhead.

Lake Dorothy

Location: 47.575303, -121.379828

A small island dots the lake.

Trailhead

Location: 47.609129, -121.386137

A small parking lot leads to the trailhead.

Bridge over Camp Robber Creek

Location: 47.603031, -121.379303

A two-lane bridge on Dorothy Lake Trail.

Camp Robber Creek

Location: 47.602575, -121.379228

The creek runs past solid granite and boulders.

Stairs

Location: 47.601895, -121.379035

The trail stairs along Lake Dorothy are excellently maintained.

Stairs

Location: 47.598611, -121.382446

More puncheon-style stairs on the way to Lake Dorothy

Lake Dorothy

Location: 47.595746, -121.383777

View towards the northern tip of the lake.

Lake Dorothy Beach

Location: 47.59126, -121.382232

A sandy area with a few campsites.

Southern End of Lake Dorothy

Location: 47.58055, -121.377897

The lake's scenery changes drastically depending on where you stand.

Switchback Vews

Location: 47.574036, -121.386266

View towards Lake Dorothy from the switchbacks.

Planter

Location: 47.576757, -121.391501

Blueberries grow out of this natural "planter".

Bear Lake Corridor

Location: 47.575512, -121.397789

The old-growth forest towers over the trail.

Land of Giants

Location: 47.57337, -121.398969

Massive old-growth cedars flank the trail.

Deer Lake

Location: 47.57117, -121.403604

The fog clears in time for a quick shot of the scenery.

Snoqualmie Lake

Location: 47.572501, -121.415201

Mist shrouds the lake.

Campsite

Location: 47.573001, -121.416167

A campsite large enough to accommodate a couple of 3-person tents.