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

A camp at Marten Lake


Marten Lake

Marten Lake

Definition of terms below
Location: Middle Fork of Snoqualmie River
Directions: Head out I-90, to North Bend take exit 34 (468th) 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: Moderate to strenuous (moderate in my book-strenuous for most)
Elevation +/- 1700 ft elevation gain (elevation of Marten Lake 2959)
Distance: 8.25 Miles Roundtrip
Rating: 8 out of 10
Fishing: Great, try some powerbait!
Lake info: 40.4 acres, approximately 40 feet deep, rainbow trout
Scenery: Rocky lake basin, great looking lake, cool waterfalls 
Map: Printable Topo Map
Trip Date: June 7, 2001, 2:30pm -8:30pm (approx. 1.5 hours hiking each way)

Marten Lake is worth an afternoon or weekend visit. I opted for a solo day hike. 

Trail Notes: The Taylor River Trail starts off great, it is about 6 feet wide, and relatively flat to Marten Creek, the trail slowly gets even more narrow the farther you hike. The trail is compact dirt with spots of 4+ inch rocks. I did not see anyone else on the trail to the lake.

On the Taylor River trail you will cross a few creeks and about 100 feet before crossing an old wooden bridge over Marten Creek (3 miles from the trailhead), the Marten Lake trail starts on the left (There is a 6+ foot diameter tree on the river side). The Marten Lake trail is pretty nice, although it does not have many switchbacks and goes up quite rapidly. On the hike to the lake you go over and under numerous logs and up a few steep muddy sections--covered with roots. There are a few nice waterfalls to catch a glimpse off.

Once you are at the lake there are a couple nice camping spots near the outlet. (I cleaned up most of the garbage that was lying around- a cotton towel, a few cans, paper, and some plastic bags) The lake is set in a big rocky basin, with a small island on the backside.

Black bear sighting. On the hike out it was getting dark and just after I passed the road up to Blethen Lakes I was walking the long straight away and thought I noticed a ‘log’ sticking out of the brush—funny thing is I did not remember seeing the ‘log on the way in. About 50 yards ahead I suddenly noticed that the ‘log’ was actually a cinnamon black bear ambling towards me- I took a few more steps and he finally noticed me, as I was scrambling to get out my camera he darted in to the brush. I let out a few hollers and kept walking, I could hear the bear growling and thrashing about in the brush about 30 yards off the trail. It made my trip; I hardly ever see wildlife in the Alpine Lakes region- let alone a cinnamon black bear.

There were plenty of bugs --take some bug spray.

Fishing-- 1st report: Marten Lake was completely thawed, some snow was still scattered in the trees. I enjoyed an 3 hours + of relaxing and fishing. I did not catch any fish, but probably with a raft and give the fish a few more weeks to get thawed out and get hungry--fishing will pick up. The outlet offers good fishing opportunities, most of the lake is brushy along the shoreline—take a raft.
2nd report: great try some powerbait near the outlet, and hold on tight to your rod--there are some whoppers!

Do it again? Yes, this hike took a little energy but nothing like it took to get into Dream & Pothole Lakes.

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

Tom Barret's Marten Lake trip report
Ken's Washington Hiking Page
Waterfalls of the Pacific Northwest

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