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Soda Peaks Lake

Southwest Washington

Location

Southwest Washington -- Lewis River Region
View map below

Length

9.76 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 2874 ft.
Highest Point: 3700 ft.

Rating

3.50 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2017
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

Take a trip to a seldom-seen part of the South Cascades. The approach from the west begins with a walk through a flat wooded meadow. Shortly after winding through this area, the trail begins climbing steeply 700 feet to a ridgeline. Catch your breath here and gaze at Mount Hood, Indian Heaven, and your destination, all visible from the ridgeline.

As so many hikes to lake basins do, the trail begins descending roughly a quarter-mile after gaining the ridgeline. You'll lose nearly all the elevation you just gained as you descend to the lake. It's just 2.2 miles to the lake from the western approach, with about 1270 feet of elevation gain.

The lake also used to be accessible from the Government Mineral Springs, but due to trail damage, the way is nearly impossible to navigate. Instead, go to the Trapper Creek trailhead and follow Trapper Creek Trail 192 for about 1.8 miles to the junction with Trail 133.

The lake is subalpine, still with snow on its western shores in early summer. It is a lovely little lake, very quiet, with fish, clear water, and several nice campsites around the shores. The views to Mount Adams and the Goat Rocks remain mostly obscured by trees, but the lake itself is the treat.

There is a large bridge over Trapper Creek on the 133 trail, but hikers will have to cross the creek on Trail 192, at the junction with Trail 132. This crossing is typically easy by April, but it's wise to travel with hiking poles to add stability.

WTA Pro Tip: Overnighters, take note of where you drop your pack. While camping sites are available around Soda Peaks Lake, some areas have been designated as day use areas. Please be sure to keep these areas clear for day hikers to enjoy the destination.

 

Soda Peaks Lake

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 45.8846, -122.0001 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Southwest Washington -- Lewis River Region

Soda Peaks Lake (#133)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount Adams Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: Columbia River (Romano -- Mountaineers Books)

Weekend Wilderness: California

Oregon

Washington (Martin Tessmer

Backcountry Guides)

Green Trails Lookout Mtn No. 396

Green Trails Wind River No. 397

Getting There

For the western trailhead: From Vancouver, take I-205 to Hwy 503. Head east on 503 until you reach the small town of Chelatchie. Take a right on NE Healy Road and follow it as it parallels Canyon Creek. At the national forest boundary, there is a fork in the road. Take the right fork and turn onto FR 54. Stay on this winding, sometimes bumpy road until the junction with FR 5407, the first pavement after many miles of gravel. The trailhead is at across the road to the left, with a wilderness information sign and a wilderness self-issue permit box.

To the eastern trailhead: From Stevenson, head east on Hwy 14 and after 3 miles, turn left onto Wind River Road. Proceed about 14.5 miles and turn left onto FR 3065, signed for Mineral Springs Road. Continue on FR 3065 for a little more than 1 mile to a parking area. Look for the trailhead near the Iron Mike mineral spring.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Soda Peaks Lake

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