Total Ascent: 1400ft
Highest Point: 5400ft
Total Distance: 3 miles
Location: N 47° 45.4080, W 121° 6.2100
Required Permit: None
Recently we had the chance to pack up our snowshoes and head out on Highway 2 toward Stevens Pass to explore the Skyline Ridge Trail. We’re right in the middle of an excellent snowshoe season, and we try to take advantage of it whenever the weather will allow us to wander under snow-laden trees toward sun-sparkling vistas. And it looks like the snow is going to continue to be good, as the state’s recent “snowpocalypse” has laid down a thick new layer of powder to tromp through.
This short snowshoe packs a lot into just a few miles. We definitely recommend taking the more direct route when snowshoeing, as it gets you to the views faster and is a lot more rewarding than trudging up a service road. This is an understandably popular destination in the winter, so expect a little company. Although there is some elevation gain involved, the different approaches mean that you can easily tailor this snowshoe so that even a first-timer will be able to make the lake, while the expert can explore the more challenging sections.
A word of caution when snowshoeing this area: stick to the western end of the ridge and avoid the southern slopes – there have been multiple avalanche fatalities there over the years. And, when you reach the lake, stick to the shores and resist the temptation to march across the frozen surface. It’s impossible to tell if the ice has started to melt or is otherwise weak.
There's a lot more to Skyline Lake, and you can learn all about it in our book, Hiking Through History Washington. You'll find a trail map, route descriptions, history, and more for this and many more hikes throughout the State. Help support hikingwithmybrother.com and the work we do by picking up a copy!
To get there, take Highway 2 to the Stevens Pass Ski Area. Find parking in the lots on the north side of the highway. -Nathan
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