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Great Lake Hikes: 5 Family Hikes to Mountain Lakes in Western Washington

Kid-friendly hikes for swimming, berry-picking and trail exploring

Lauren Braden

Published on: August 05, 2021

Great Lake Hikes: 5 Family Hikes to Mountain Lakes in Western Washington

Mirror Lake. Credit: Amy Erickson

1. Mirror Lake, Snoqualmie Pass

Distance: 2.2 miles round trip, 870-foot gain in elevation, Northwest Forest Pass required to park

Info: Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington Trails Association's (WTA) trip reports, or call 509-852-1100

Kids will love: the scenic, refreshing swimming hole

Description: The “trail” begins from a lower parking area, though you can skip the first half mile on a rough dirt road if you have an all-terrain vehicle and start from the upper parking area. From here, the real trail begins. Don’t be deterred by the clear cut at the trail’s start, you’ll be in an enchanting old-growth forest soon enough. At a half-mile in, find a spur trail to Cottonwood Lake, a sweet, shallow pond you can wade in (but it's not worth skipping the star attraction for). Continue on as the trail climbs another half a mile to Mirror Lake, where placid emerald water reflects the ancient fir and hemlock that encircle it. Find a clear bank, put on your swimsuits and start soaking up the sunshine.

Directions: Take I-90 east over Snoqualmie Pass to exit 62. Head south on FR 54 for 1.5 miles, take a right on FR 5480, then go past Lost Lake to the trailhead.

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