Surprise and Glacier Lakes Trail #1060

Hike this less-traveled trail up past two lovely alpine lakes.
Total Distance: 9.5 miles
Total Ascent: 2700ft
Highest Point: 4900ft
Difficulty: Moderate
Our Hiking Time: 5h 30m
Required Permit: None
To get there, take Highway 2 out past Skykomish toward Stevens Pass. Just past milepost 58, look for an unmarked road on your right just beyond the Iron Goat Interpretive Site. Turn onto the access road and follow it across the Tye River to the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks. Cross the tracks and head to the right paralleling the tracks for a short distance to a spur road heading into the trees. Follow this road a few tenths of a mile to the trailhead. View Google Directions >>
We recommend this hike for anyone looking for an engaging hike throughout the year. It is a little long for more causal hikers, and the elevation gain is not insignificant, but most of the work is a short series of switchbacks at around the three mile mark. However, if you budget enough time, this hike should be attainable for almost every hiker. The lakes are more than worth the effort, and the hike even makes for a decent little backpacking weekend. While Surprise Lake is popular in the summer, few people make the trek in the winter, making this a good time to do some exploring and get the lakes all to yourself.

There's a lot more to Surprise and Glacier Lakes, 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 and the work we do by picking up a copy!
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