Lanham Lake—Sublime snowshoeing above Stevens Pass

A pair of snowshoers make tracks across a frozen Lanham Lake

A pair of snowshoers make tracks across a frozen Lanham Lake

Quick Facts

Location: Stevens Pass

Land Agency: Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Roundtrip: 3.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 1,140 feet

Green Trails Map: Alpine Lakes-Stevens Pass WA No. 176S

Special Note: Slight avalanche concern.

Contact: Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Access: From Everett head east on US 2 to Stevens Pass. Continue east for another 5.8 miles turning right into the Stevens Pass Nordic Center on Upper Mill Creek Road. Trail begins from lower parking area.


A snowshoer admires a big fallen tree buried in snow.

With most of Washington’s high country currently buried in snow —why not trade the hiking boots for some snowshoes and enjoy all of that fresh new powder? Lanham Lake makes for a wonderful snowshoe destination. Basic enough that most snowshoers can negotiate the climb—yet rugged enough to make it feel like you’re a lot farther and deeper in the wilderness.

With its easy access, spectacular scenery and fairly safe route, Lanham is a popular snowshoe destination and a great place to bring along strong young adventurers. The small lake sits under a big mountain and is reached by a short but steep route alongside a pretty creek.

Starting from the base of the Nordic Ski Center, enter thick forest and commence climbing aside Lanham Creek. Pop out from under the cool canopy crossing beneath buzzing high tension wires. Then enter second growth forest climbing steadily. Reenter impressive old growth and get a little reprieve from steep climbing. Continuing up a narrow valley veer well away from avalanche slopes to the east and emerge at little Lanham Lake near its outlet. Stare up at impressive 6,765-foot Jim Hill Mountain named for James J. Hill, “the empire builder.” It was Hill’s Great Northern Railroad which helped open up the Pacific Northwest to settlement and ultimately recreation too!

For more information on Lanham Lake and other area hikes along the US 2 corridor, check out my Day Hiking Central Cascades Book (Mountaineers Books).

125 hikes from Everett to Wenatchee!

125 hikes from Everett to Wenatchee!

For information on where to play and stay in the Stevens Pass Area, consult Northwest TripFinder!NWTFmasthead_layers15

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