It’d take a lifetime to explore all the alpine lakes in the Pacific Northwest. With so many options, how do you know where to begin? Here are six great hikes to Pacific Northwest alpine lakes that you should check out right now.
Eightmile Lake, Washington
Located in Leavenworth, Washington, and the heart of the Cascade Mountains, Eightmile Lake is trailhead neighbors with Colchuck Lake and the Enchantment Lakes (two other world-famous alpine lake hikes) and offers an easy route to an amazing alpine lake. Follow this continually ascending trail just over three miles up and expect to see towering peaks, a giant rock for jumping into pristine glacier-fed water, and even a few campsites for those who acquire an overnight permit.
Lost Lake Loop Hike, Oregon
This classic Oregon loop might be a little crowded on the weekends during the summer months, but for good reason. With little-to-no elevation gain, a constant supply of alpine lake views and views of Mount Hood, there is a reason this family-friendly hike is so popular.
Lindeman Lake, British Colombia
Get a taste for some Canadian Wilderness with the Lindeman Lake hike in the Fraser Valley region. Offering pristine views of forests and water, this 2‑mile hike is great for most ages. The trail climbs only 1,000 feet, but if you get to the top and decide you want more, you can continue a couple miles further to the larger Greendrop Lake.
Melakwa Lake, Washington
With so many to choose from in the Snoqualmie Pass Corridor of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Washington, sometimes you just have to throw a dart at the map and see which lake is closest. And if you landed on Melakwa Lake, just west of the Snoqualmie Summit, then you are in luck because this nearly nine-mile roundtrip offers everything you’d expect to see with an Alpine Lake: rocky shores, serene alpine water, and an ever-changing cascade climate. Pack your camera for this one.
Boulder Lakes, Oregon
For a less-crowded Oregon hiking option, check out Boulder Lakes located not far from the sprawling city of Portland. Despite its vicinity to Oregon’s largest city, Boulder Lakes doesn’t see as much action as some of the day hikes in the area, and that’s what makes this 6.5‑mile roundtrip so special. Not only do you get those alpine lakes and views you hope for, but most of the time you get to enjoy them by yourself. Pack the tent on this one. With plenty of camping spots along the way, this day hike can easily be transformed into an overnighter.
Garibaldi Lake, British Columbia
Located nearly 2 hours away from Vancouver, Garibaldi Lake and the surrounding Whistler area offers so many breathtaking, pure-Cascadian views that it is hard not to relocate yourself permanently. With alpine meadows and a turquoise lake, this 11-mile hike is a bit of a doozy for the beginner, but with a few day hikes already under your belt, this hike is perfect for the hiker looking for the next big adventure. The season for hiking this famous Canadian lake is July–October.