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Alpinejo.tripod.com: Backcountry Trails Guide
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Washington Backcountry Trails

Taylor River Trailhead

Pothole Lake


Dream & Pothole Lakes

Dream Lake

Definition of terms below
Location: Middle Fork of Snoqualmie River
Directions: Head out I-90, to North Bend take exit 34 Edgewick Road, turn left under I-90, go past the Texaco gas station and turn right on Middle Fork Snoqualmie River Road (FR 56), drive the gravel road 12+ miles, just after crossing the Taylor River bridge there is a fork in the road stay left on the Taylor River Road (FR 5630), continue to the gate and park in the lot. Trail #1002.
Difficulty: Easy hike to Big Creek, strenuous bushwhack to lakes
Elevation +/- 2000+ ft elevation gain (elevation at Dream Lake 3451)
Distance: 13 Miles Roundtrip
Rating: 8 out of 10
Fishing: No luck, lake 90% frozen, rocky shore looks good for the back cast
Lake info: 35.2 acres, approximately 75 feet deep, rainbow trout
Scenery: Very brushy, big mountains around 
Map: Printable Topo Map from topozone.com
Trip Date: May 31, 2001; 1:30pm -10:30pm roundtrip to trailhead 


Dream Lake is worth an afternoon or weekend visit. We opted for a long day hike. I have thought on why they named it Dream Lake--because you keep dreaming of getting there as you wander through the thick brush.

Trail Notes: The Taylor River Trail starts off great, it is about 6 feet wide, and relatively flat to Big Creek, the trail slowly gets even more narrow the farther you hike. The trail is compact dirt with spots of 4+ inch rocks.

On the trail you will cross a few creeks and an old wooden bridge over Marten Creek (3 miles from the trailhead), continue on until you see the big concrete bridge over Big Creek (5 miles from the trailhead). The trail up to the lakes starts about 20-30 feet past this concrete bridge, heading to the left (once you turn off the Taylor River Trail the leg burning begins). Follow the trail up staying on the right side of the creek (this section reminded me of the Constance Lake hike out in the Olympics-up, up and up over logs under logs). The trail will pass an old campsite and then stops abruptly at the creek. Now the work begins, the next 1/2 mile or so takes more energy than the first 5.5 miles, it is a brutal bushwhack thru 6-8 foot deep brush (no trail), devils club, some sharp thorny bushes and alder trees. My brother tried walking up the creek but it was too cold and waist deep- to make it in the creek all the way to the lake. I bushwhacked up the middle of the valley.

But nonetheless we made it to the Dream Lake and it was still 90% frozen. So fishing stunk but hey we made it. We enjoyed an hour + of BSing and reminiscing and then headed down. On the way down we ventured over to Pothole Lake to see what it looked like-a great little lake basin with high rocky slopes. Pothole Lake was also 90% frozen. There are a few great camping spots in the trees at Dream and Pothole Lakes.

We got back down to the Taylor River Trail at 9:30pm and hiked the last 5 miles out in the dark without turning on the headlamps--sure was dark--but there is something 'cool' about hiking and not being able to see anything, your senses are sure a bit more in tune.

The bugs started coming out at dusk. When we stopped for a break they started to swarm--take some bug spray.

Fishing-- Dream Lake- no fish were biting a few were surfacing.  Pothole Lake- I did not unpack my fishing pole, it was probably 8:30PM and getting dark.

No reservations needed,  just fill out a backcountry permit at the trailhead and display your forest pass in your vehicle.

 Do it again? probably not, this is one trail were you better eat your 'Wheaties' before going, I would say that if you make it to where the trail stops at Big Creek and the brush starts you should feel as energized as when you started at the Taylor River gate or the brush will eat you up!

Please Note: There is not a trail to these lakes, it may be a dangerous adventure if you are not an experienced backcountry nut and/or don't have the correct equipment.

Other Links:
Middle Fork Of the Snoqualmie (
Then select 'Routes,Hikes')
VTRAIL Trip Report
WTA Trip Report

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