Lanham Lake

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

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Lanham Lake


  • Stevens Pass Nordic Center lodge.- Lanham Lake
  • Follwing signs up through the Nordic base area.- Lanham Lake
  • Route through the forest.- Lanham Lake
  • Bonneville Power Administration lines.- Lanham Lake
  • Back into the forest.- Lanham Lake
  • Old man's beard lichen (Usnea barbata).- Lanham Lake
  • Lanham Creek.- Lanham Lake
  • Steepening slopes through the forest.- Lanham Lake
  • Nearby slopes.- Lanham Lake
  • Wind blowning snow from the trees.- Lanham Lake
  • Entering the lake basin.- Lanham Lake
  • Loving the first lake views!- Lanham Lake
  • Meadows near the south shore.- Lanham Lake
  • View from the south shore.- Lanham Lake
  • Crossing Lake Lanham.- Lanham Lake
  • Jim Hill Mountain (6,765') and the head of the Lanham Creek valley.- Lanham Lake
  • Lanham Lake trail corridor.- Lanham Lake
  • Leaning trees.- Lanham Lake
  • View north from the power line clearing.- Lanham Lake
  • Exiting the power line clearing.- Lanham Lake
Overview + Weather
Old-growth forest. Frozen alpine lakes. Mountain views.
Large crowds during weekends.
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA
Pets allowed: 
Groomed trail: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,200.00 ft (365.76 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Total Distance: 
1.50 mi (2.41 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,014.00 ft (918.67 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


With short mileage and a complete absence of avalanche danger, the Lanham Lake snowshoe route gives you a taste of the pristine Cascade backcountry without having to exert relentless effort. The lake sits nestled in a small valley directly adjacent to Mill Creek Valley, which is also where many "backside" runs from Stevens Pass Resort terminate. The parking lot and trailhead are shared with the Stevens Pass Nordic Center, which played a big role in the area's railroad history: the Nordic Center served the resting point where engineers refilled their locomotives with creek water while laying the first tracks over the pass. The 7.79-mile Cascade Tunnel now runs directly underneath the area.

From the parking lot, head through (or around) the gate and up the edge of the groomed track to your left where a blue sign marks the Lanham Lake trailhead. Enter the forest and make your way up the hill and out of the Nordic base area. In 0.25 miles the route brings you into a clearing where high-tension power lines run from the Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River to feed much of the greater Puget Sound. Some endure the intense buzzing for a short while to take in some decent views to the north before picking the route back up on the other side of the clearing. 

Near the 1-mile mark, the slope steepens noticeably for a few hundred yards as you continue up along the west bank of Lanham Creek.  Enjoy the presence of the old-growth forest as you pass by giant firs and cedars and regain steady terrain before closing in on the lake basin. Arrive on the north shore and behold the immediate view of Jim Hill Mountain that dominates the head of the valley above the lake. To extend the trip, continue exploring beyond the south shore where Lanham Creek passes through some quiet meadows that are perfect for winter camping. 

Note: Always exercise caution while traveling near creek beds in the backcountry.

Recommended Gear

Before you head out on your next Mount Hood adventure, make sure you have the right gear! 

Here's a list of our go-to snowshoeing essentials to get you started:

Snowshoes: MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe

Cushioned, Made in USA, Ultralight, 98.8 oz

Men's • $299.95 • MSR | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Women's • $299.95 • MSR | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Jacket/Shell: Arc'teryx Zeta AR Jacket

Waterproof, Adjustable Drawcord Hem, Pit Zips, GORE-TEX

Men's • $431-475 • Arc'teryx | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $475 • Arc'teryx | Amazon | Backcountry

Pack: Mammut Nirvana Pro Pack 

35L, Carry-On Size, Hip Belt, Ice Axe / Pole Loops, Hydration Compatible

Standard Fit • $189.95-199.95 • Mammut | Amazon | Backcountry

Small Fit • $199.95 • Mammut | Amazon

Insulating Layer: Moosejaw Dequindre Down Jacket

Water-resistant, Insulated, Adjustable Drawcord Hem

Men's and Women's • $179

Poles: Black Diamond Traverse Pole 

Aluminum, Adjustable with Lever Lock System, 21 oz.

$79.95 • Black Diamond | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Gloves: The North Face GORE-TEX Gloves

Waterproof, Adjustable, Insulated, GORE-TEX

Men's • $99.95-181.63 • The North Face | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $99.95-100.00 • The North Face | Backcountry

Boots: Vasque Snowblime UltraDry Boot

Waterproof, Cushioned, Insulated

Men's • $149.99 • Vasque | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $149.99 • Vasque | Amazon | Backcountry

Gaiters: Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiter 

Waterproof, Breathable, Lightweight, Abrasion-resistant

Men's • $41.32-65 • Outdoor Research | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Women's • $49.95-65 • Outdoor Research | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

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.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Map

Field Guide + Map

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(26 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(77 within a 30 mile radius)

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