It was a prefect day for this hike. We started on the trail around 11am and...
The popular trail to Annette Lake combines an easy-to-find trailhead, well-maintained trails, and a scenic payoff that makes this an ideal candidate for first-time (or reluctant) hikers. While you may have to combat weekend crowds, the wide trail makes for easy egress on the path, and passing parties will rarely have to stop for each other.
From the trailhead, bear right on the clearly marked trail to head up to Annette Lake (left is the Asahel-Curtis Nature Trail). About 50 yards into the Annette Lake Trail, there is a small booth for hiking parties to sign in. Leave your name and the number in your party, and then carry on alongside Humpback Creek into the beautiful, cool canopy of recovering forest.
At just under one mile, hit a break in the canopy as the path crosses beneath power-lines and then the Iron Horse Trail. Regain the Annette Lake trail on the left after a mere 20' on the Iron Horse Trail. You'll also see signage here for the Iron Horse tunnel. For those who have the energy on the return trip from Annette Lake, it is possible to hike to the west entrance of the old Snoqualmie Tunnel, a 2.3-mile straight shot which runs pitch-black under nearly 1500 vertical feet of solid rock.
Continuing on from this point, the trail becomes more aggressive. At 1.25 miles, cross over a set of sturdy foot bridges and then begin a series of switchbacks. The majority of your elevation gain will come during the next mile-and-a-half, as you traverse the western slopes of Silver Peak.
Just shy of 3.5 miles, the trail opens up onto the shores of Annette Lake. With clear views of Silver Peak and Abiel Peak—plus a bonus alpine waterfall on the east side of the lake—this is the perfect place to plop down and enjoy a little lunch.
Permits & Tips
Northwest Forest Pass required. Toilet available at trailhead and pit toilet available near lake (bring TP!). Camping and fishing are both allowed at Annette Lake. Bring your rod and drop a line in the water. Dogs allowed on leash.
How to get there
From Seattle take I-90 east and take exit 47 (signed Denny Creek/Asahel Curtis). After exiting, turn right onto Asahel Curtis Road (NF-55), and go one-tenth of a mile. When the road T's, take a left onto Asahel Curtis Road. Drive a third of a mile; the small parking lot is on the right immediately after the bend in the road.