Kendall Peak Lakes & Kendall Knob #2 (Jan 5, 2019)

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kendall_pk_lks_coverConditions: Day hike
Gear: snowshoes, microspikes
Map: USGS Snoqualmie Pass
Area: Snoqualmie Pass
Reference: Snowshoe Routes Washington
Stats: 8.95mi, 2395' gain (round trip)
Weather Forecast

I've been waiting to return to these lakes for a while. My last trip up there was a snowshoe trip back in 2004. Avy conditions weren't the best today so this seemed like a safer option.

Steve turned in his Jetta (TDI) a few weeks ago so he's without a car. I drove down to his place early in the morning, picked him up and made a coffee stop. Gotta have coffee... We then headed up to the pass. Steve was nice enough to pick up a regular (not groomed) Snopark pass (seasonal) the day before. We arrived at the Gold Creek snopark area about 10am (elev 2395') and parked...down the road. The place was going to be busy today so it was good we got a somewhat early start.

The winter route to the lakes just follows the road out of the snopark. I'm continually surprised by the number of people who ask "is this the way to the lakes" or the variation "how far are the lakes". Suggestion...always take a map and a route description. Compasses are almost worthless without a map!

The route follows an old road all the way up. We stayed on the road nearly the whole way. The snow is crusty and firm. There was a superhighway packed in almost all the way to the lake. In the second hard right switchback in the road (3.18mi, 4135') I recall leaving the hairpin turn and making a beeline for the lake. But...the road was so firmly packed in higher up we figured we'd just stay on it. We ended up staying all the way on the road until it reached a viewpoint on a ridge above the lakes (4.11mi, 4494'). It was a bit windy and we both wanted to make it to the lakes so we headed back down the road just a bit and looked for a track we figured would be there...sure was (4.23mi, 4487'). A nice set of tracks did a traverse over to the lower lake (4.37mi, 4376'). We took in the views and decided to have to the middle lake.

The middle lake is just a tad bit above the lower lake. There is a mini steep section but it was no problem getting higher up. We reached the middle lake (4.59mi, 4453') and found a sheltered spot under a tree and had lunch. We had the lake to ourselves.

Fingers get cold in the winter so we didn't linger too long. We headed back down to the lower lake and then back out to the road (4.95mi). We followed the road on the way down. We did a short detour over to Kendall Knob #2 (5.73mi, 4284') and then headed back to the road again to head downhill.

One more detour...I was getting tired of hiking a packed road. So about 3237' (7.7mi) we left the road and stayed on the nose of the ridge. This would let us cutch a long switchback in the road. If was easy enough to aim to meet back up with the road at 2814' (8.16mi). Then just a bit more downhill and we were back at the car.
Kendall Pk Lks Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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