Want to hike the most popular trail in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area? Then pack your pack and set your alarm early for the hike to Snow Lake. With access to the trailhead from the parking lot at Alpental ski area at the summit of Snoqualmie Pass, Snow Lake is the most visited lake in the entire wilderness area. Is it worth the trip? I think so. The lake is large and the scenery beautiful. If you get there early, the lake can be clear as glass.
Even a little snow still present at the base of the far peak. I saw no signs of potential fishing at the lake, but with several trails taking you down to the water, there are no doubt lots of swimmers this time of year.
Lake water doesn't get any clearer than this. Being the crazy person that I am, I wanted to take some photos as the sun was rising and beginning to reflect on the peaks to the northwest. This meant getting up early early and hiking with my headlamp for part of the way. To my surprise, I was not alone with two other groups heading up the trail at the same time. You won't be lonely.
Washington Trails identifies the hike as 7.2 miles round trip with 1,800 feet of elevation gain and I found the trail to be very rocky and steep in places. And you can continue along to Gem Lake too. But still, nothing that mid level hikers can't do - even those of us a bit long in the tooth. After exploring the lake and taking a few photos, I managed to be back at my car by 8 am. By the time I arrived back, there were 20 or more cars already in the lot, so plan to get there early and don't be worried about crowds. Take your time and enjoy the views. It's worth it.