Snow Lakes Trail #1553
ElevationAscent: 5,957' 1,816 m
Descent: -196' -60 m
High: 7,081' 2,158 m
Low: 1,317' 402 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 48% (26°)
Popular hikes nearby
Icicle Ridge Viewpoint Out-and-Back
5.0 mi 8.0 km • Out and Back • 1,758 ft Ascent 535.87 m Ascent
Stafford Trail to Navaho Pass to Navaho Peak
13.7 mi 22.0 km • Out and Back • 4,026 ft Ascent 1227.15 m Ascent
19.5 mi 31.3 km • Out and Back • 2,603 ft Ascent 793.54 m Ascent
Deception Falls Loop
0.8 mi 1.3 km • Loop • 81 ft Ascent 24.82 m Ascent
Thorp Mountain via Knox Creek
4.3 mi 6.9 km • Out and Back • 2,034 ft Ascent 619.98 m Ascent
7.3 mi 11.7 km • Out and Back • 2,577 ft Ascent 785.35 m Ascent
Navigate on-trail with our free app
“A beautiful and steep trail with enchanting rewards.”— ChewiePDX
The trail begins at the Snow Lakes Trailhead, crossing a large bridge over Icicle Creek, then immediately starts to switchback up the rocky canyon. There is little tree cover or water for the first few miles. At around the 2 mile mark you'll be directly across from "Snow Creek Wall". During the warmer months, you are sure to see rock climbers scaling this 800 ft rock. From here, you'll get close to Snow Creek on the right and continue to switchback up through the forest.
The trail climbs more steeply across an old landslide path, and heads into denser forest, leveling out and opening up at Nada Lake, which is about 5.6 miles from the trailhead. There are many well-established campsites on the east shore of Nada Lake, and the trail continues to the southeast end of the lake.
It then switchbacks up over a large talus and scree slope, climbing 1.7 miles until it reaches Lower Snow Lake, where there are several well-marked campsites. The trail goes over the old dam between Upper and Lower Snow Lakes. Your feet will get wet when crossing over this dam.
The trail continues for 1.5 miles along the south shore of Upper Snow Lake where there are dozens of clear campsites. After the head of Upper Snow Lake, the trail is very rugged. The path switchbacks up steeply: parts of it cut through dense forest, where gnarled roots grow in the middle of the trail, and sections of it cross precipitous granite outcroppings that can be very slick if it is raining. The trail reaches Lake Viviane after about 1 mile of steep uphill scrambling, and there are several lovely campsites here with breathtaking views of the valley below and the surrounding peaks, including the impressive Prusik Peak.
A short, steep climb along the north-facing granite cliff, and the trail passes Leprechaun Lake, then continues less steeplythough no less ruggedlypast Sprite Pond and around the east side of Perfection Lake.
At the head of Perfection Lake, the Snow Lake Trail ends and becomes Colchuck Lake Trail #1599A, which continues through the Upper Enchantments. Please be advised: while heavily-trafficked, the trail beyond Upper Snow Lake to the Core Enchantments is a primitive route marked with rock cairns, and is recommended only for experienced users. You can also head north here and head up the .7 miles to Prusik Pass.
Hiked this trail?
We need help with the following missing trail information:
Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know
Local Club: EarthCorps
Land Manager: USFS - Okanogan & Wenatchee National Forest Office