Day hike out to Rampart Lakes to see the beautiful fall colors.

Fall Hike to Rachel and Rampart Lakes

By Bryan Carroll CFMP, NTP, FAFS

February 18, 2021




Our Rating

Snoqualmie Region, Alpine Lakes Wilderness

11 miles, roundtrip

(This is from what we recorded on a Garmin Fenix 6x

Gain: 2200 ft.

Highest Point: 5100 ft.

The Snoqualmie Region of the Cascades has become a very popular area for hiking over the last couple of years. Since it is only an hour away from the busiest metropolitan areas, these hikes can be extremely busy when hiked on the weekends.

Luckily, once the summer weather starts to turn, these areas start to become much more quiet. If you can also hike on a weekday, then places like Rachel and Rampart Lakes can be a very quiet and relaxing place to hike to!

Getting Started

You'll start off at the trailhead for Rachel Lake. The trail starts off somewhat gentle as you hike through the woods. You'll come across a few different waterfalls and open areas which keeps your attention on the way up.

The trail progressively gets more steep, with a tough final push towards Rachel Lake. Be careful around the roots of the trees, there can be hidden wasp nests, so pay attention to any trail reports. We came across someone who broke their ankle while running from the wasps. Here is a video we made on how to handle a wasp nest while on the trail.

After 3.5 miles, you'll arrive at Rachel Lake. This is a great place to stop and have a snack. The lake is beautiful and well protected from any wind. Once you are ready to continue, find the trail again and start making your way north.

The Way to Rampart Lakes

You'll make a final push up to the ridge which is about 0.5 miles away from Rachel Lake. There are quite a few switchbacks, so be prepared to start sweating on the way up.

At the top, you'll come across a split in the trail with a sign. If you go right, that will take you to Lila Lake and Alta Mountain. To the left is Rampart Lakes, which is where we are going.

This section has a lot of huckleberries for you to snack on while you make your way to Rampart Lakes. Eventually, the trail will open up to an area with lots of social trails and mini lakes.

The fun part about Rampart Lakes is that you can create your own adventure. You can choose whichever lake you want to hang out at, and the further you continue, the larger the lakes are. There are lots of great places to hang out, swim, and eat your lunch.

Just remember, these areas have a lot of fragile plants, so please don't create any new trails. Follow the established trails so we don't damage the area more!

Click on images below to see a bigger picture

Views above Rachel Lake
Views of one of the larger Rampart Lakes

Practicing LNT Principles, and Giving Back

We really want to encourage everyone to practice LNT principles when they explore these beautiful places. We spent years trying to minimize social impact on these locations, but the cat is out of the bag and these places are easy to find online. So it is our mission to share more about ways to keep these places as pristine as possible.

We also donate 3% of all our profits to organizations supporting the outdoors and working hard to keep these areas protected and safe.

About the author

Bryan Carroll CFMP, NTP, FAFS

Bryan Carroll is a certified Functional Medicine Practitioner and Movement Therapist who helps the outdoors community to reduce injuries and improve their health so they can get back to exploring nature. His big health crisis from mold exposure taught him the importance of finding the root causes to illnesses so you can take back control of your life. He is also the host of the Summit For Wellness Podcast.

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