On the way to Kendall Peak Lakes.
I’m also a sucker for working for your views (and the quick ride down)!
Kendall Peak Lakes is a challenging ski, with a steady uphill gain of 1,700 feet in 4.5 miles. It also makes for a nice snowshoe. In fact, there were more ‘shoers than skiers heading up the trail on New Year’s Day.
The trail is an old roadbed, starting off at the Gold Creek Sno-Park. Easy to follow, the road winds its way up, with spotty views out to Rampart Ridge and Gold Creek valley, the Snoqualmie Ski Area and Mount Catherine.
At around 3.5 miles, the trail nears Coal Creek at a switchback in the road. Here is where the snowshoers in the group can head off-trail northward with a direct approach to the lakes, while the cross-country skiers can stick to the road, eventually topping out on the ridgetop and continuing to the left (northward) to meet the skiers.
- Gold Creek Sno-Park is very popular on the weekends. If you can make the trip mid-week, do so!
- Travel to the upper lake is discouraged due to the lake being in an avalanche-prone cirque.
- Don’t forget the 10 Essentials (plus my 11th winter essential – a thermos with your choice of hot beverage!) and a Sno-Park Permit.
For more information about this trip and driving directions, check out Washington Trails Association.