Trip Report: Snoqualmie Ridge Loop

Years ago, when I was new to the Seattle area, I remember happily staring at a map (Green Trails 207, one of the first Green Trails I ever purchased!) and realizing that the trails at Snoqualmie Pass could be connected to trails along the Middle Fork Snoqualmie. You could reach Goldmeyer from Snoqualmie Pass!! It blew my mind, and I decided that one day I would go check it out.

Last Friday, I finally got around to connecting the dots by doing a counterclockwise loop as follows: start at the Snow Lake trailhead and run the road to the PCT trailhead. Then head up the PCT/Commonwealth Basin trails to Red Pass. From Red Pass, descend down to the Middle Fork on an unmaintained (but obvious) trail, cruise west on the Middle Fork for a couple miles, and then head back up to Snow Lake via the Rock Creek trail. Just under 20 miles and just over 6000 ft of elev gain.

Of course, by now I know that it’s not uncommon to run/hike between Snoqualmie Pass and the Middle Fork. You can find even better descriptions of the route here and here.

Snoq Ridge map-2

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This is the cairn marking the bootpath up Red Mountain. Don’t take this trail unless you want to tag Red Mountain as you complete the loop (not a bad idea, but I’d already been up Red and didn’t want to do it again in the rain and fog).
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This is the cairn marking the trail up to Red Pass, just before Red Pond (i.e., the trail you want.)
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Cold and wet with pine needles on my head (again).
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“Trail Abandoned Beyond This Point”… but relatively easy to follow.
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View from near Red Pass.
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Maggie checking out the gully at the top of Red Pass. The route drops steeply down this gully – you can just barely make out the bootpath switchbacks in this photo.

As you can tell, it was foggy and raining when I went, with no real views to be had. That said, it was still a fun loop and a great way to avoid crowds (except for around Snow Lake) without driving a long distance.

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