Best time to visit Washington

Rachel Lake in Washington

An alpine lake surrounded by wild forest is a great spot for swimming, fishing, and hiking

Best time: June–November

Rachel Lake
Rachel Lake
Rachel Lake
Rachel Lake
Rachel Lake

Surrounded by wildflowers and lush greenery, Rachel Lake is situated in Kittitas County, near Easton, Washington, about a 1.5-hour drive from Seattle. The popular lake with an elevation 1,422 m (4,665 ft) is part of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness featuring unique old-growth forests, waterfalls, and 360-degree mountain views. After visiting Rachel Lake, hikers can continue walking to Rampart and Lila Lakes as well as climb Alta Peak. The area is especially gorgeous in early fall when leaves start to turn yellow and red.

Rachel Lake can be reached by an 11-km (6.8 mi) out-and-back trail that is best from June through November. The trail is quite steep and hikers have to cross many small streams as well as crossing Canyon Creek. The trail goes through Box Canyon, fir and hemlock forests, and alpine meadows. From the lake, hikers can continue climbing to Rampart Ridge for better views and then walk an extra mile to Rampart Lakes.

The area is rich in huckleberry, salmonberry, sword ferns, and devil's club. There are several campsites near Rachel Lake so it can be a great two-day hike or a one-day adventure. The path can be pretty busy in the summer months, so it's best to come during weekdays or in early fall when kids are back to school.

Practical info

What is the best time to visit Rachel Lake in Washington?

Rachel Lake in Washington can be visited from June to November when the weather is mild and the fall season offers beautiful colors. Weekdays are best to visit the place as it gets too crowded on weekends and peak summer months. Show more

How far is Rachel Lake from Seattle?

It will take around 1.5 hours to drive from Seattle to Rachel Lake. Once you reach Kittitas County, you can park at the Rachel Lake Trailhead, where the trail towards the lake begins. Despite the distance, it is still considered a worthy trip. Show more

What are the other lakes that hikers can explore nearby Rachel Lake?

Hikers can explore Rampart and Lila Lakes along with Alta Peak besides Rachel Lake. These lakes and camping sites are adjacent to each other, providing a vast opportunity for hikers to enjoy stunning scenery. Show more

What are the significant features of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness?

The Alpine Lakes Wilderness district is a picturesque area containing old-growth forests, waterfalls, and 360-degree mountain views. Hikers can experience the beauty of the region, with lush greenery, wildflowers, and animal life that features huckleberry, salmonberry, sword ferns, and devil's club. Hikers should expect steep terrain around the wilderness. Show more

What are the accommodations available near Rachel Lake?

Pratt Lake, Rampart Lakes, and Lila Lake are some preferred campsites near Rachel Lake where visitors can stay for a night or two. These campsites are well-maintained, with toilets, fire pits, and defined campsites. Visitors should note that there are no other lodging options available near Rachel Lake. Show more

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Last updated: by Dari Vasiljeva