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

Kid-friendly hikes for swimming, picking berries and exploring trails

Lauren Braden

Published on: August 07, 2023

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 put off by the clear-cutting at the trail’s start, as you’ll be in an enchanting old-growth forest soon enough. At about half a mile in, you’ll 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 trees 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.

Next up: Ashland Lakes

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