Hike description: Be aware that the trailhead parking lot is signed, misspellings and all, as “Mt Margret Tr No 1332.”
The trailhead is a short distance up the road off to the left, as shown on the map. There is no sign there, just a post where it must once have been.
The route up the first part of the hike is through a clear-cut area now engaged in regrowth. These types of areas are perfect for berries.
In early fall, the blueberries are everywhere. You need to add to your estimate for the time to hike this trail if the berries are ripe.
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In about a mile, the trail, an old road, transitions to a well-marked trail. Around 1.5 miles, it enters a nice forest.
The trail levels out near the marked Margaret Lake junction at about two miles. The trail is level for a short while and then starts descending with a few short step sections.
Then it comes to Twin Lakes at about 3.3 miles, a very pretty basin, and a great place for lunch. For some, this could be the turnaround point.
Shortly after this, there is one large rock area that took a few moments to find the way across.
The only real challenge on the trail is the last 1/3 mile to Lake Lillian.
The trail climbs steeply over roots and rocks in what could be called a near scramble. No switchbacks, just straight up. If it is wet, it is slippery.
On a rainy day, you might want to stop at Twin Lakes for round-trip mileage of 5.4 miles with 1,500 feet of elevation gain. The high point is 5,200 feet, which is at the Lake Margaret junction.
Directions: Travel east on Interstate 90 to Exit 54 (Hyak). At stop sign on the off-ramp, turn left going under the freeway and then turn right on the frontage road. About 2.4 miles from turning on the frontage road, it heads into the forest, starting a series of switchbacks. Around 2.8 miles, stay right, at 3.4 stay right, at 3.5 stay left, at 3.8 turn left into the parking lot labeled “Lake Margret Tr.” Green Trails 207 Snoqualmie Pass map shows this route correctly. Some hiking books have an incorrect description.
Difficulty rating: 3 (1 is easiest, 5 is most difficult)
Miles round-trip: Nine
Elevation: 1,750 feet
Best time of year: June to October
Map: Green Trails 207 Snoqualmie Pass
Pass: Northwest Forest Pass
Also: The caution to be adequately prepared with extra clothing in case of a change in weather is reinforced by our wet, cold, rainy fall weather which can sometimes grace us with its presence at other times of the year.
Do remember to pack out all your own trash. This trail is heavily traveled so it behooves us all to be good citizens and carry a bag to pick up the bits and pieces of trash that flutter out of others’ pockets.
Info: North Bend Ranger Station, Snoqualmie Ranger District, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest; 425-888-1421; www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs/about/snrd.shtml; “Day Hiking Snoqualmie Region,” Mountaineers Books.
Hike of the Week is presented by The Mountaineers Tacoma Branch Hiking/Backpacking Committee. For other hikes, visit www.theolympian.com/hiking.