This trail changes with the seasons, offering something different each time you visit. A summer hike to Kachess Lake is short and accessible for first timers. The gentle, flat trail allows kids of all ages to wonder at nature along this loop. Stream trickle into the lake and bridge along time for nature study before continuing the loop.

View of upper lake from trail

In the winter months, this spectacular Snoqualmie landmark is completely transformed into a snowy wonderland (from December to February). Those looking for an easy, introductive snowshoe trail can enjoy the splendor of this well-traveled path without stepping outside of their comfort zone. The trail to the Kachess lakeshore provides the casual hiker with an opportunity to do as much or as little exploration as they would like. While the ambitious hiker can skirt the lakeshore for miles or explore the ice bridges that adorn the lake (very carefully, of course), those looking for a short excursion can simply walk to the boat launch before retreating to a warm car.

From the Snoqualmie Nordic parking area, follow the signs towards the John Wayne Trail. As a common courtesy in the winter months, refrain from trampling the groomed cross country trail by staying to the left. This groomed shoulder provides new snowshoers with a safe and simple platform to learn how to walk in their bulky new shoes. Those with more experience can explore the ungroomed areas.

View of the area from above

Roughly .5 miles into the John Wayne Trail, snowshoers can find a well-trampled trail veering off to the left. Follow this trail to enjoy a respite from the cross-country skiers, and soon you will find yourself tucked away within a spectacular, narrow trail surrounded by snowcapped evergreens. Continue along as it slowly descends in elevation, twisting through the trees towards the lake. After roughly .5 miles the trail leads into an open road that ends at  the boat launch in the summer months. Continue along the road until you reach a snowy peninsula jetting out into the lake. Depending on the snow pack, snowshoers can continue down onto the lake and hike along the lakeshore to enjoy stunning vistas of the surrounding mountains. Before you set off on your adventure, make sure that you learn more about snowshoeing techniques and safety to ensure a fun and safe time on the trail.

Season: All year

Distance: 1.25 miles (each way)

Variety: Out and Back

Elevation Gain: 50 feet

Highest Point: 2300 feet

Maps: Green Trails no 207S Snoqualmie Pass Gateway

Open To: Hikers, Dogs

Passes and Permits: Snow Park Pass (those without snowshoes can combine rental and day use fees by purchasing the Nordic Rental Package from Snoqualmie Nordic Center)

View of Lake Kachess from Easton Ridge


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