Margaret Lake

Margaret Lake is a deep subalpine lake sitting at the base of its namesake, Mt. Margaret. It lies protected in the boundaries of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, on the eastern crest of the Cascade Mountains here in Washington State.

The trail most of the way is not what one thinks of as ‘wilderness’ though. Rather…..the trail starts on an old logging road, rudely heading uphill as fast as it can.

Which was about how the road there looked as well I might add….

Awhile up the trail, past a number of old road spurs, one comes to a marked junction where the ‘real trail’ starts. It takes off to the left – it is marked with a ‘hiker’ post, but no trail sign.

From the start you are in an old clear-cut, the higher one goes the more the views. One thing about the Snoqualmie Pass area, especially the eastern side is the massive clearcutting – much of it from decades past. Way below is one of the many reservoir lakes along I-90, and behind the lake sits the Iron Horse Trail, a rail to trail that crosses under Snoqualmie Pass.

But those pesky clearcuts boast something that makes them worthwhile. Millions of Huckleberries. A pickers delight to be sure.

As we climbed higher Mt. Rainier started to come into view.

And then suddenly…you leave the clear cuts and enter old forest – the difference is quite shocking in ways.

Love these two trees giving us a super big “K”!

As we crested the ridge we came to a junction. We decided to visit Margaret and save Lillian for another day.

Being an old trail, it rudely shoots down into the basin below losing a couple hundred feet. It was very steep. Here I ended up doing a vegetable belay….ugh! At least the tree stopped my fall.

Ford in a meadow as we neared the bottom.

Lake Yvonne. More a pond than lake – though still pretty.

More pond on the other side of the trail.

Margaret Lake.

The last bit of the trail was slippery so I was a lot slower than him.

Mt. Margaret and her lake.

The bugs were back after the cold weather snap so we didn’t stay longer than it took to shoot a couple of photos.

Ford heading through the small meadow/sub alpine trees back to Yvonne. I felt that the campsite at Yvonne was pretty. Though Margaret had some nice ones as well.

At the top, just before heading back onto the ridge. Looking at the peaks near Snoqualmie. Way below you can see Margaret and the trail in. We could also see Stuart Mt. from the ridge and many other peaks.

In the woods here, it was tempting to keep on going..

It was a lot faster out, though with the steepness of the old logging roads, we had to be careful. Ford took one good slide.

(September 7, 2008)

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