Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

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Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe

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  • Beginning of the route on Money Creek Road.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Mossy forest.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Money Creek.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Large boulder on the route.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Money Creek valley wall.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Goat Basin with Lennox Mountain (5,894').- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Money Creek.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Looking back down the valley.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Unnamed waterfall flowing into Money Creek.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Money Creek Road above the switchback.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Mountain views opening up.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Following the route.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Unnamed mountain to the south.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Money Creek headwaters.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Cedar grove.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Crosby Mountain (5,576').- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Lake Elizabeth from the south shore.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Dry creek crossing on the way down.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • One of many unnamed creeks.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
  • Money Creek in the afternoon.- Lake Elizabeth Snowshoe
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Waterfalls. Frozen alpine lakes. Mountain views.
Cons: 
Several dry creek crossings. Unmaintained route.
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Alerts: 
Route is unmaintained and has some landslide damage and a downed tree.
Region:
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA
Congestion: 
Low
Preferable Season(s):
Winter
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
Not Required
Total Distance: 
11.00 mi (17.70 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
1,154 ft (352 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
1,700 ft (518 m)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trail condition: 
Backcountry
Trail Uses: 
Snowshoeing
X-Country Skiing
Dogs allowed: 
Yes
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Clear throughout the day.
82°F
58°

Wed

Clear throughout the day.
83°F
58°

Thu

Partly cloudy throughout the day.
76°F
56°

Fri

Partly cloudy in the morning.
83°F
54°

Sat

Dry throughout the day.
86°F
53°

Sun

Dry throughout the day.
88°F
55°

Mon

Dry throughout the day and mostly cloudy starting in the evening.
90°F
55°
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

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Skirting outside the northern border of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, the Elizabeth Lake snowshoe and ski route winds up a mining road through a chattering creek valley, ending near a charming little 7-acre lake. On a clear afternoon, the snow-dusted highpoints that form the broad valley walls become visible throughout the second portion of the trip, adding a splendid backdrop to the lush hemlock, cedar and fir forests.

Depending on the time of year and current snow level, the route tends to vary by a mile or two in length. The idea is to drive as far as possible up Money Creek Road and park on the ample shoulder space at the snow line (usually around the first mile marker). Mossy groves and the constant flow of Money Creek occupy your attention for the first 3 miles, which go by fairly quickly.  The creek bed widens and affords nice views of Goat Basin and Lennox Mountain to the south. The next attractions can be found another mile up the route where two unnamed waterfalls flow into Money Creek. Carefully descend the creek bank a few yards for the most photogenic views. 

Shortly after the falls, the road switches back once to gain some elevation and as it leaves the creek. From this point, the atmosphere becomes more spacious, with Crosby Mountain, Red Mountain and McLain Peaks rising up around you. The expansive Money Creek headwaters hint that you are only a short distance from Lake Elizabeth, where the road passes above the south shore. For a bit more adventure and some alternative vantage points, you can circumnavigate the lake via the 0.7 mile summer trail. 

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(23 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(121 within a 30 mile radius)

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