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
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