I hadn’t been out hiking in weeks and was looking for a quick trail fix this weekend. Did Skyline Lake (3.0 mi RT // 1100 ft gain) off of Highway 2 as a lazy snowshoe today. It was clear that the mountains haven’t received much snow snow in the past week+ as the roads were completely clear and the trail was packed in and somewhat frozen over. Although we brought and opted to use our snowshoes, the trail was totally doable in yak trax or spikes.
We took our time leaving Seattle and starting the trail, arriving at the Stevens Pass parking lot around 10:30 AM and hitting the trail around 11. WTA provides accurate directions on where to park and start the trail but for those who are cardinally challenged (like me), here’s a quick set of directions to the trailhead: driving from Seattle, the trailhead will be on the left side of the highway, past the pedestrian bridge at the back of Lot D. The trail begins behind the large cabin-like structure in the middle of the parking lot. Despite the warnings of extreme parking lot crowding in other trip reports, we had no problem parking, likely due to the adverse ski conditions.
The trail itself is well-trafficked, short and fairly steep. Due to the high usage, the trail is packed down and wide. We saw a number of other snowshoers as well as skiers. Three switchbacks past the radio tower, turn left at the tree marked by a orangey-pink ribbon and follow tracks to the lake.
The lake was covered in snow, not visible today. Still, the clearing was pretty and we were greeted by a well-crafted snowman and remnants of an igloo. Also spotted some snow-campers. We enjoyed a thermos of chili and warm tea by the lake in peace before retreating down. Moving at a careful and leisurely pace, we made it back to the car by 2 PM.