Pete Lake Backcountry Camping
Megan C.
Reviewed Sep. 8, 2017

Pete Lake

Pete Lake is a bustling, dusty trail covered in berry bushes and beautiful blooms. We encountered tons of people, dogs and horses making their way to the lake on a sunny afternoon.

Pete Lake is a relatively short drive from Seattle. The trail-head is located just past Lake Cle Elum and the Salmon La Sac campground. The hike is an easy 4.5 miles of gradual up and down but you won't gain more than 600 feet of elevation at any time. 

My rag-tag group of four hiked out midday on a Saturday and were lucky enough to snag a nice lake side camp. We all chose to hammock camp and, to our surprise, found quite a few spots that would accommodate us.

We found after choosing our camp that we were located close to one of the two toilets posted on the lake.  "Ours" was located up a hill so get a head start if you need to use it. As always, we appreciate the topless toilet with a nice forest view and this one appeared to be almost brand new. Youcould still smell the fresh cedar!

There was a nice creek to pump water from a bit farther down the trail from our camp, but we awkwardly had to cut through other folks' camps (apologizing all the way) to get there. 

The bugs ate us alive, so we were really happy for our Repel candles and bug spray, otherwise they may have carried us away to feed off of later.

Be warned; the lake edges are really mucky unless you happen to be on one of the nice rocky sides. 

Your shoes may or may not be sucked off your feet; continue on at your own risk.

All in all is was a great one**-**night backpacking trip away from the city tucked in on the beautiful Pete lake, even with the bugs.

  • Beautiful scenery
  • Pete Lake Trail Head
  • Pete Lake before sunrise
  • The best backcountry fire you can have during a burn ban.
  • Walking up in a hammock with the  sun shinning on you = winning!
  • View of Pete Lake and a short walk around our campsite.
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  • Pete Lake and the beginning of the Jolly Mountain fire smoke.
  • Fuana
  • Glorious golden Kammok hammock.
  • Pete Lake
  • Pete Lake
  • Flora
  • Following the dusty trail to the lake.
Month of VisitSeptember