Just up the ridge from well-travelled Lake Dorothy, the twins Bear Lake and Deer Lake offer a more remote backpacking or day hiking experience. Several campsites that are surrounded by tall Douglas firs dot the shores, and you are likely to have your pick of them, especially if you go on a weekday.
Start on the trail to Lake Dorothy, hiking up well-worn log stairs and boardwalks provided by countless volunteer hours. Cross over tumbling Camp Robber Creek and follow the rolling, rocky trail along 2 miles of shore to an inlet crossing. There is no bridge here, but there are rocks that can be used to get across the water when it isn't too high. After this crossing, the trail gets serious about climbing, switchbacking up the ridge over rocks and some fallen trees. In late summer the trail is surrounded by wild blueberries, so stop for a snack and look behind you for views of Dorothy sparkling below.
Once the trail reaches the top of the ridge, it is just a short descent to Bear Lake, and the first few campsites are easy to spot. Less than a half mile further is Deer Lake, which is the slightly less visited of the two. Stop here for the day, or continue on to the even more remote Snoqualmie Lake.