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Snow Lake Divide

Adventuring on the lands of the sdukʷalbixʷ (Snoqualmie) people. 

Route Description:

The Snow Lake Divie is a great beginner tour that shares the same start as many Alpental Valley tours. You'll head to Alpental's Lot 4, hoping to snag a parking spot at the north end of the lot. From this lot, head north along a widely groomed forest path which will introduce you to the Alpental Backcountry. Along the way you'll find a Beep check and signs from the Alpental Resort: please pay attention to those signs in following your uptrack. You'll want to stay to the east side of the river since the track closer to the resort is a ski out track with regular use, thus potential collision. You'll follow the widely groomed forest path to its end, from where you'll likely see a skin track heading north.

On this northward heading skintrack, you'll gradually move through the forest of the Alpental Valley slowly gaining elevation. You're likely to have company as this skintrack is the main way up valley for many different tours. The skintrack will change seasonally due to the snowpack, so it's normal to follow the well beaten path to find your way towards Source Lake. At Source Lake you'll be able to see the open bowls southeast of Chair Peak where you'll begin heading upward with a few switchbacks out in the open. Please be aware in this zone since it does get hit by sun and it's not uncommon to see wet loose slides. Additionally, if Source Lake isn't fully frozen over that might mean a small creek along your way is still open too.

At around 4,300' feet you will head northeast to east as you angle yourself towards the Snow Lake viewpoint. Heading east will lead you back into treed terrain as you slowly gain elevation to the Divide. you'll reach your high point around 4,500' feet from which you'll be able to see Snow Lake through the trees. From here, transition while picking your line down to the lake.

After skiing to the lake, take a moment to have lunch or a snack to enjoy the view. You'll likely see a skin track back up to the top, but if not, the way back is the same way you came. As you head back up, consider another lap cause this line makes for some pretty easy touring. If one is good lap will do, you'll still have a nice ski down to Source Lake. Be sure to follow your track back out to the open slopes west of the divide to avoid getting cliffed out in convoluted terrain. You'll have a clear sight for your downhill line to ski back to Source Lake.

From Source Lake, hop on the well used ski track that returns to Alpental Lot 4.


4.75 miles <distance>

Elevation, High Point.png

+/- 1,775 feet <vertical gain/loss>

4,515 feet <highest point>


December -April <best season>

None <permits>

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