Lake Sally Ann is a beautiful small lake tucked in a cirque adjacent to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), roughly 25 miles north of Stevens Pass. It can be accessed a number of ways on a long day hike from the Wenatchee Ford trailhead via a number of trails.
The multiple trails that access the lake also mean that you can make this lake a stop on a short loop backpack trip. The views from the PCT and from Cady Ridge are spectacular, and there is lots to see on the way to the lake.
Route 1: Up Cady Ridge
For a challenging day hike, the most direct route to Sally Ann is up Cady Ridge trail. This route provides the most views of the three access points, as the views from Cady Ridge are spectacular, but… and there always is a but…it features some steep sections that the other choices avoid.
Route 2: Up Cady Creek
At 9 miles one-way, the Cady Creek route to Lake Sally Ann is a couple of miles longer, up a heavily forested valley which provides shade on a warm day. The trail is efficient, with virtually no switchbacks, but it does have “rooty” sections, so watch your step. The trail crosses a number of small avalanche chutes that can be quite brushy. There is plenty of water on this route, until you reach the PCT.
Route 3: Up Little Wenatchee Trail
The third choice is to approach Lake Sally Ann from the north by going up the Little Wenatchee Trail. This trail crosses many large avalanche chutes and the brush can provide a bath if you are early on a dewy morning or if it has rained recently. Once past the brush, look for campsites in Meander Meadow, and breathtaking views.
WTA Pro Tip: This area is perfect for a three-to-four day backpacking trip. Here's this author's recommendation. Night one up Cady Creek. It would be possible to hike in a few miles after work and camp at one of the stream crossings up Cady Creek. On day two, hike to Lake Sally Ann; there should be plenty of time for a day hike of the upper section of Cady Ridge. Spend your last night in Meander Meadow, with plenty of time to to day hike Kodak Peak. You can hike down through Meader Meadow to the trailhead or reverse back up to the PCT and go down the steeper route on Cady Ridge.