Trout Lake, West Fork Foss Trailhead, Seattle - Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Snoqualmie Pass - Central Cascades, Washington

Trout Lake - 3.7 miles

West Fork Foss Trailhead

Trout Lake (1,920')

Trout Lake (1,920')

Round-Trip Length: 3.7 miles
Start-End Elevation: 1,500' – 1,920’ (1,945' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +420’ net elevation gain (+470’ total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Trout Lake - 3.7 Miles Round-Trip

Trout Lake is located 1.85 miles from West Fork Foss Trailhead off Stevens Pass Highway in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. This short, family-friendly hike features river access for anglers, old growth trees and nice views of surrounding peaks. Tall canopies and sheltered nooks around Trout Lake make it an ideal destination on days with less-than-perfect weather:  

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

The trail quickly enters the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and joins the West Fork Foss at .4 miles. Views open to Shoestring Falls and the rocky ridge of Malachite Peak as it winds past debris from a 2006 flood to a new footbridge over the river (.98 miles : 1,675’).

Once over the trail enters a captivating section of ancient hemlock and cedar lined by maidenhead ferns that could be a destination in itself. It rises gently among towering trees to Trout Lake (1.85 miles : 1,920’). The day use area here includes a natural swimming beach, established campsites and privy.

The main trail continues on more challenging grades and terrain with access to Lake Malachite, Copper Lake, Little Heart Lake and Big Heart Lake.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N47 38.087 W121 18.234 — 0.0 miles: West Fork Trailhead - 1,500'
  • N47 37.857 W121 18.529 — 0.4 miles: Trail joins West Fork Foss
  • N47 37.613 W121 18.665 — 0.8 miles: Winding past washout debris
  • N47 37.576 W121 18.790 — 1.0 miles: Bridge over West Fork - 1,675'
  • N47 37.567 W121 18.864 — 1.1 miles: Enter old growth forest grove - 1,735'
  • N47 37.340 W121 18.884 — 1.5 miles: Trail continues on gradual ascent
  • N47 37.118 W121 18.850 — 1.85 miles: Trout Lake - 1,920'

Worth Noting

  • Trout Lake is an ideal day or overnight destination for anglers, groups and families.

Camping and Backpacking Information

  • Camp only at established campsites when within 1/2-mile of the following locations: Big Heart Lake, Copper Lake, Lake Dorothy, Little Heart Lake, Malachite Lake, Surprise Lake, and Trout Lake.

  • An overnight Wilderness permit must be filled out at the TH and carried to camp at Copper or Big Heart Lakes.

  • Campfires are prohibited at all lakes accessed by West Fork Foss Trail.

  • Group size is limited to 12.

  • Pack out all garbage. Practice Leave No Trace Ethics.

Fishing Information

  • Fishing is allowed with a valid WA state fishing license.

  • Contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for more information.


Sport/Commercial Licenses: 360.902.2434
Disability Licenses: 360.902.2460

Rules and Regulations

  • A Northwest Forest Pass or $5 fee is required at this trailhead.
  • A free day use or overnight Wilderness Permit must be filled out at the TH and carried for the duration of your trip in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
  • Dogs must be leashed at all times in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
  • Horses are not permitted on this trail.

Directions to Trailhead

The West Fork Trailhead is located 6.6 miles from the Foss River Road turnoff on Highway 2 east of the town of Skykomish.

From Highway 2 (Stevens Pass Highway), turn south on Foss River Road, 1.9 miles east of Skykomish. Continue straight on 68 where the pavement ends at 1.2 miles. At a Y-junction at 3.5 miles stay right, passing another trailhead parking lot at 4.2 miles. Just before a bridge, at 4.7 miles, turn left on 6835 (sign is easy to miss) and continue 1.9 miles to West Fork parking lot and trailhead.

The parking lot holds 30 cars and has bathrooms. 

Contact Information

Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest | Skykomish Ranger District
74920 NE Stevens Pass Hwy | PO Box 305
Skykomish, WA 98288

Reference Trail #1064

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


"A bit hard to find, you almost need the insiders scoop to find it. This is an AMAZING hike if you are in to old growth trees! A few of The cedars are simply awe inspiring! Easy hike, my 5 and 3 year olds were able to do it with minimal fuss. Very very steep in places, watch your footing! 5 out of 5 stars."
Zoe Aman  -  Sultan, wa  -  Date Posted: April 10, 2017


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