Lakes: Dorothy, Bear, Deer and Snoqualmie

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.

Trail steps

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.

Dorothy Lake

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.

Snoqualmie Lake

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.


3 comments for “Lakes: Dorothy, Bear, Deer and Snoqualmie

  1. Blake
    21 August, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to do this nice write up of Lake Dorothy. My wife and I also did the Foss Copper Lake hike the weekend before this hike. We really enjoyed it but the steep hike up to Copper really took it out of us, the sun was really hot that day, but we never complain because we get so little long term sunshine here, LOL.
    We are thinking of Dorothy for a first overnight hike this weekend, and although probably not the greatest camping place, it is close to Monroe and will give us the chance to camp, and check out our overnight stuff that hasn’t been used in many years. Hope it will be fun. Thanks for the report, it sounds like the south end inlet to Dorothy might be the best for camping. Blake

  2. Lynn McDougal
    22 August, 2014 at 10:42 pm

    Wow…thanks for the report! Never been here but I have been planning my trip up there for a couple of months now and am due to leave on Monday, Aug 25. I was planning on staying somewhere in the Bear/Deer Lake area. Any decent campsites seen around either of those lakes with good water? Would hate to think that I have to hoof it back to that boulder crossing for more water! I was planning on making camp at Deer/Bear then the next day doing a day hike to Snoqulamie Lake and then a little further south to Otter Falls. But I would love to know that I have a way to get water at base camp. 🙂 If not I guess I’ll base camp at Dorothy and day hike to Bear/Deer. hmmmmm

    • Jennifer
      11 September, 2014 at 4:47 am

      I’m sorry I didn’t read this sooner. How did it go?

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