A couple of weeks ago, armed with our brand new camera - we set off to shoot some video on what is known the most popular trail along the I-90 corridor. We used this hike as a test case for how our new camera and lens would perform without any specialized video equipment. So all the footage you'll see in this video was shot hand held - often as one of us braced against a rock or a tree.
Our guidebook referred to this hike as a "wilderness super highway" and on sunny Saturday in July the hike to Snow Lake was indeed very popular. In fact, when we stopped to take a breather along the skinny trail - it was sometimes challenging to merge back into the line of people making their way up. While the elevation gain of the trail is slow and steady, not like the endless up of Mason Lake, the part of this hike that does get challenging is the rocky terrain. Almost the entire trail is covered with loose small rocks and that just happens to be my particular hiking kryptonite. On the bright side, it does go by quick - at least on the way up.
After three and half miles up, the trail pours it's many visitors out into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness with another half mile down to the lake front. While the lake is crystal clear and looked quite perfect for swimming - it was extremely challenging to find a lake front spot to settle down. With all the landslides and cliffs around the shore - there just aren't very many places to sit and dip your toes. The areas where we were able to access the water were swarming with mosquitoes - so bug spray on this hike is a must!
Overall, if you're looking for a quick and relatively easy hike to an alpine lake and you don't mind the crowds or the rocks - Snow Lake is a great option. We're planning to brave the rocks once more in the Fall to hike on to Gem Lake, just a bit farther along the trail where the crowds have hopefully thinned.