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Lila Lake

Snoqualmie Region

Location

Snoqualmie Region -- Snoqualmie Pass
View map below

Length

11.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 2800 ft.
Highest Point: 5400 ft.

Rating

4.75 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

Lila Lake is a beautiful lake surrounded by parkland and jagged mountains. While it can be done as a day hike, it is better enjoyed as an overnight destination. Nearby Alta Mountain and Rampart Lakes make excellent side trips.

Start by following the trail to Rachel Lake, a 3.5 mile trail that gets increasingly steep and rugged as you get closer to the lake. There are some waterfalls along the way to distract you from the trail, but the ratio of scenery to effort is low on this early section of the trail -- you'll be sweating hard by the time you reach Rachel Lake.

When you arrive at the lake, look for a trail on your right marked “Trail”, near the trail to the privy (marked “Toilet”). This trail heads north initially, and then turns west as it travels around the north side of the lake. But before you set out, take a break for a few minutes to enjoy Rachel Lake. The lake is a worthy destination in its own right, with plenty of space to spread out and camp, swim, or just relax.

When you’re ready to continue climbing, head back to the trail signed “Trail”. This rocky trail switchbacks steeply up to the ridge in just half a mile. Along the way, you will enjoy periodic views of Rachel Lake.

When you get to the ridge, you will see a trail off to your right. This is the trail to Lila Lake. The sign for the junction is a few yards further up the trail. The trail to the left heads to Rampart Lakes, a pretty collection of pothole lakes and a maze of social trails between them. You want the trail to the right, to Lila Lake.

The trail gets a little brushy at times, so be sure to reference your map if you're unsure which way to go. Enjoy a few more views of Rachel Lake, and after 0.3 miles, arrive at a junction marked by a cairn. The trail to the left is a climber’s path up Alta Mountain. Steep, rough, and non-technical, it should not be attempted by those with a fear of heights. Continue straight ahead for Lila Lake.

Pass through a short area of talus on a good trail, and then arrive at a small tarn. Skirt around the right side of the tarn, and look for a trail to your right. It may not be obvious. If you arrive at a rocky overlook of Lila Lake and its long, narrow island, you have passed that trail. Turn around, and find the trail down to the lake.

The trail down to the lake is steep and a little muddy. Bring hiking poles for the descent.

At the lake, you will find several campsites, each offering a reasonable amount of privacy and distance from your neighbors. There are also some nice rocks to sit on, and towards the end of summer there are more berries than you can possibly eat.

WTA Pro Tip: If you’re backpacking, consider side trips to Alta Mountain and Rampart Lakes.

 

Lila Lake

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.4008, -121.2836 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Snoqualmie Region -- Snoqualmie Pass

Rachel Lake (#1313)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Cle Elum Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Green Trails No 207 Snoqualmie Pass

Getting There

From I-90 heading east, take exit 62. Take a left and cross over the highway. At 5.2 miles, the road veers left, passing Lake Kachess Campground. Go another 0.3 miles, now on gravel, and take a right at a sign for Rachel Lake/Trail 1313. At this point, the road gets a little rough. Continue following signs to Rachel Lake/Trail 1313, turning left at a gated intersection. 3.8 miles from the campground, take a left into a pair of one-way parking lots.

Check the lower lot first–there are likely to be spaces available when the upper lot is over-full. There is space for 30 cars in the upper lot, and at least another 20 cars in the lower lot.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Lila Lake

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