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 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.