Pratt Lake Trail

HARD
#20 of 167 trails in Snoqualmie National Forest
Pratt Lake Trail is a 11 mile out and back trail located near North Bend, WA that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, and snowshoeing and is accessible from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

11.0 miles 3021 feet Out & Back
dog friendly hiking snowshoeing trail running lake views
Hide Map

From Seattle, E on I-90 to exit 47. Left off the freeway. Left at T in road for .5 miles to trailhead

Mohamed Jama
4 days ago

3 Completed3 Reviews

Long but great hike.
Lots of unknown plants.

Ryan Hanley
17 days ago

5 Completed5 Reviews

Did this hike on Saturday and it was a great hike. A lot of trees down on the trail and some snow patches. So at times it was difficult to navigate.

Darrell Miller
19 days ago

2 Completed1 Reviews

Before stepping off, I like reading the Info. board, great job.
Trail needs volunteers to help clear the trails; lots of trees on trail, water crossings, snow packs on trail you need to be carefully decisive - it's melting , you step through the holes.
the signs posted for direction is old and the letters are small and discoloration, keep your head up so you won't miss it.
Lots of great waterfalls! Good for photographs. You can tryout your water purification device. Friendly people and dogs were obedient. Peaceful.

Zach Stettler
2 months ago

4 Completed3 Reviews

Seattle is spoiled with great trails within an hour of the city. The trails in this area are extremely well maintained generally, however solitude is something you won't likely find unless you travel on a weekday. If you're planning on getting a campsite I would recommend getting to the campground earlier considering the sheer amount of people that make use of the trail.

We did a multiday hike to Pratt Lake the first day, to Melakwa the second day, and then headed back out using the Denny Creek Trail. We decided to go Thursday through Saturday. The timing was nice because Thursday and Friday were almost barren of people, whereas Saturday, when foot traffic become steady, we were on our way out.

If you're looking for a day hike, you can't do much better than hiking to Pratt or Melakwa. However, our relatively uninterrupted multiday route may go down as one of my favorites.

As a side note, although many of the articles and information we read ahead of time stated that hikers should be on the look out for black bears, we didn't see any game of any sort along the trail. We assumed this to be because of the steady foot traffic the area received, however we talked to a forest service ranger on our way up to Melakwa who told us that there wasn't much worry of bears considering the single bear they have seen anywhere close the area is an extremely rare sight.

Lastly, if you're camping in the area, please remember that the camp sites are sub-alpine. For this reason fires are not allowed as the brush on the ground is the only insulation the trees receive during the winter. Using this brush to start a fire would be harmful to the area, so plan accordingly and bundle up if you think weather will become chilly at night.

Huib Van Leeuwen
3 months ago

2 Completed2 Reviews

February many trees were down and over the trail. Sometimes hard to get around in the snow. It is a beautiful nature hike.

Natasha Reis
4 months ago

15 Completed8 Reviews

Beautiful

Kate Skuzeski
8 months ago

9 Completed5 Reviews

Jayce Lemmer
10 months ago

15 Completed6 Reviews

The trails was awesome and the lake was great to swim in. I hiked with a friend and both of our gps units recorded over 14 miles on the trail to the Pratt lake campground. This is definitely one of my new favorite trails. It was a bit busy with people hiking in to camp. The trail does connect to Melakwa as well. Getting there early helps avoid the heat of the day . We started at about 7 and got back down about 4 pm after hanging out at the lake for the day.

Evan Johnson
11 months ago

4 Completed4 Reviews

Steven Myers
11 months ago

12 Completed4 Reviews

The great thing about this trail is that it is wide enough and in good enough shape that you can hike with your head up; which is great if you like looking at dense forest, ‘cause that’s almost all you’re going to see until you get well into the lake basin. The forest also means two other things are true about this trail: 1) you’re in shade for almost the entire trail. This has been nice as the weather has gotten warmer. And 2) With the exception of the one brief break in the trees where you can see Ollalie Lake, this trail has no intermediate “pay-off” until you reach Pratt Lake.

Why is all this relevant? Because of the one thing they don’t tell you before the first time you go out on this trail. The one thing that isn’t in the trail description or any trip report that I read. So here’s what you really need to know: This trail is relentless. You are either going up, or you are going down. There are almost no flat sections until you get to the lake itself. There are some steep sections (especially between the ridge top and the basin, which makes coming back out a nice challenge), but this trail just plain doesn’t give you a break. So, it might not have been the best choice for my first overnighter of the season.

All the being said, it was a great hike. As I mentioned, the weather was great and the trail is in good shape for the most part. There was no snow in the basin at all, though the melt has made for some significant mud and muck. The Trillium are starting to bloom in force and some of the other flowers are catching up, too. On my way in on Friday I ran into another hiker who reported seeing a black bear on the talus heading down into the basin, but by the time I got there it was nowhere to be seen. I heard coyotes (?) howling Friday night as they moved across the ridge top above my campsite, but other than that the biggest wildlife I saw was about a three foot long bull snake.

That’s not counting the dogs, of course. Over two days I saw at least twenty dogs – and only four of them were on leash! Folks, I know your puppies like to run around and explore, but this is a wilderness area and there is a reason why they are required to be leashed. For the sake of everyone who likes to enjoy these wild areas, please keep your animals under control. (Mostly so they don’t come tearing through my campsite at 8:30 at night – you know who you are!)

Jan Fair
1 year ago

11 Completed11 Reviews

Hard day hike but a good hike

Aaron Brengle
1 year ago

49 Completed54 Reviews

Nice trail with plenty of changing coverages. The trail that shares the beginning of Granite Mountain was your typical I-90 2000+ elevation gain lake hikes. Easy switchbacks, decent grade, good young-growth intersparsed with oak trees. The turn-off for Granite Mountain is somewhat unnoticable because it is in-line with the trail direction and does not stick out. This trail takes you to the top of the ridge of Pratt lake Basin and forces you to loose at least 300 feet to get back into the basin and lake-level. Pratt Lake is not the most scenic lake in the Alpine Lake Wilderness, but it is an easier hike when it is dry.

just becauseican
1 year ago

37 Completed29 Reviews

Beautiful lake with a long trail to get there. Once you get past a sketchy rocky area, the final descent is easy with a narrow trail along the edge of the lake. There is a small 'day use' area which is the perfect place to have lunch and take a swim. Fairly busy trail with quite a few backpackers camped out.

Tuan Nguyen
1 year ago

45 Completed34 Reviews

Descended to Pratt Lake basin via the Talapus/Ollalie lake cutoff and even though this made my hike 11 miles total, it was worth it. Trails are in good condition and it was great having lunch at the lake was very nice.

Brad Robel-Forrest
1 year ago

4 Completed2 Reviews

The entire Pratt Lake basin is really beautiful–definitely worth the switchbacks and rocky descent. The short extension of the hike out to the Lower Tuscohatchie Lake is strongly recommended (follow the signs pointing toward Melakwa Lake). There is a great set of falls out of the west end of Tuscohatchie, not to mention the amazing falls that are across the lake (near the southeastern tip of the lake, where the upper lake drains down into this one).

Gabe O'Leary
2 years ago

26 Completed6 Reviews

Originally set out to do the Granite Mountain trail but ended up choosing this one instead once we reached the trailhead. You cross over a few streams and near the top there is a beautiful view of another lake and Mount Ranier to the south. After the peak is reached it gets rather rocky as you descend into the bowl that Pratt lake is in. The descent is quite beautiful as well. The lake was very pristine and nice to swim in once we reached it. I continued a ways down Pratt "river" to see if I could find a waterfall or anything interesting but was not successful. I would definitely recommend this hike for some looking for an alpine lake.

Carolyn Busch
2 years ago

28 Completed7 Reviews

Ian Dromey
2 years ago

7 Completed7 Reviews

A good hike. The trail most of the way to Pratt Lake has an even surface and a reasonable grade. There are lots of small waterfalls along the trail. Once you get around Pratt Lake and a little further to Lower Tuscahatchie it gets a little rougher. I think it probably more like 10 miles round trip to Pratt. Good scenery around Pratt Lake and definitely recommend going a little further to Lower Tuscahatchie. There were a few patches of snow between Olallie Lake and Pratt Lake but nothing you couldn't cross in running shoes.

Chris Reed
2 years ago

10 Completed10 Reviews

Passed by Pratt on my way to Lower and Upper Tuscahatchie. Pratt is a beautiful lake, very quiet and definitely has an interesting approach to it as you come down over the ridge above Ollalie. I had heard Pratt was a popular destination as well as some of the other reviewers but found that not many hikers ventured that far on the beautiful Saturday and Sunday we were in that area. The trail around the side of the lake is beautiful with wild flowers on both sides. If you go to Pratt I'd recommend continuing on to Lower Tuscahatchie as its not very far from Pratt (definitely less than a mile) and very beautiful as well. Don't bother with Upper Tuscahatchie though unless you want to fight thick brush the whole way there.

Anthony Cable
2 years ago

22 Completed20 Reviews

beautiful, but definetly longer than 8 miles in and out, id say atleast 9.5......