There are many hikes around the I-90, east of the Snoqualmie area, one option is Annette Lake

Forty-five minutes drive from Seattle, and a little less than two hours climbing.

This trail has a constant gradient without being too difficult. You will encounter some roots and stones scattered along the trail which benefit from appropriate hiking shoes (but you will quickly realize that these are an essential purchase for inhabitants of the PNW).

You do need to choose your hikes according to the season. Dedicated websites provide information about the trail conditions for the different hikes in the area. Trails are easily accessible from May/June until the first snowfall. Many hikes like Annette Lake and nearer Snoqualmie Pass are not accessible in May or even until late June… or July.

Parking is available, but do not forget your parking permit (a five dollar daily permit can often be purchased at the trailhead, but it is advisable to check and purchase ahead of time).

While going up, take time to admire the Douglas and cedar forest, the wildflowers, and the panoramic view onto the nearby mountains.

Your efforts will be rewarded when you arrive at the lake. The whole hike is worth enduring because of the destination. It’s your goal and you won’t be disappointed. These high-altitude lakes are spectacular. The still blue water reflects the surrounding trees. Patches of snow will still be scattered around the mountain bowl, but this will not dissuade you from swimming in this clear blue water.

The surrounding mountains are colored in shades of green thanks to the diversity of tree species.

Take a picnic to eat on the edge of the lake, enjoy the sun and the peace and quiet. Some of the fitter and more courageous hikers carry a paddleboard up on their back, others settle down and camp until the next day. You will indeed see many hikers carrying their camping gear.

The way back down is about 1:30 to 2 hours.