After having explored the West Fork Foss River lakes last weekend and really wishing to have stayed there overnight, we decided to pack the camping gear this weekend and head towards nearby Dorothy Lake and beyond. We were very disappointed, as the lakes did not have the pretty turquoise colors and clear shores. Although this is not a good trail for us, it may suit another type of hikers.
In reality this was a training hike for us, so we made it almost all the way to the end of Snoqualmie Lake, about 7 miles from the trailhead, all along looking for a camp site with easy access to a clean lake shore so the dog could swim and we could filter water. It was never found.
Trailhead to Dorothy Lake
The first two miles have tons of very well maintained steps and regular fresh water sources for dogs.
Once you reach the outlet of Dorothy, the trail forks. The short trail on the right leads to a day use area, which is the only source of direct clean lake water. The left trail skirts the east side of the lake, which is where most of the campsites are located. There were campsites right on the shore, but either there was a steep drop to the lake or the shore was very swampy, which created a fun bug situation.
At the lake’s inlet on the south there is the second best source of running water, which you have to cross if you want to venture further out along the trail. There are a couple of good campsites here.
Dorothy Lake to Bear and Deer Lakes
This is where we expected to camp. For most of the way the trail keeps Dorothy Lake within sight, climbing the ridge that divides the two basins. Once you go across the other side of the ridge you can almost see Bear Lake. The trail leads you along the north side, which has steep and sudden drops to the lake. Both lakes seem to be deep and have a very dark color, even when the sun shines over them.
Deer Lake to Snoqualmie Lake
Five minutes after passing Deer Lake you can see Snoqualmie Lake about 700 below you. We chose to keep going just in case we found a better campsite. It turns out the only access to the lake is very swampy and full of bugs at this time of the year.
We did not encounter another soul on our way in our out of Snoqualmie Lake, so we decided to turn back quickly and return to a campsite on the north side of Dorothy, close to the outlet and the trailhead.