12m 3,100ft gain
Wright Mountain is a small peak in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness situated just above Gem Lake. Both destinations are a great addition to the extremely popular Snow Lake hike. You’re unlikely to find solitude here but past Snow Lake the crowds diminish and the hike continually gets more enjoyable. There are also plenty of good camping spots around Gem Lake.
From Kaleetan Peak (Just above the far left lake):
1st Trip: 8/4/2019
Ellie and I have been to Snow Lake before but have never ventured past it. This Sunday, with Moose leading the way we would check out Snow Lake, Gem Lake and Wright Mountain. The hike starts from the ever busy Alpental parking lot.
In three straight forward miles you’ll be at Snow Lake.
Continue on the rocky path around Snow Lake. You’ll drop down to the lake shore a few times for an up close look at the crystal clear alpine lake surrounded by craggy peaks.
There was a beautiful tarn with a perfect reflection of Chair Peak.
Moose only seemed to care about sticks.
Past Snow Lake you’ll follow a clear trail up a ridge eventually traversing a large talus slope until you arrive at the pristine Gem Lake. Moose went for a swim and found more sticks to chew on.
Wright Mountain is only a half mile and about 500ft of gain away from Gem Lake. There is a little meadow just above the lake with great campsites. Near the summit I had to carry Moose up some loose rock that was tough for him to walk on. The quick addition to a Gem Lake hike is well worth the extra effort! The views are special!
This was one beautiful day in a beautiful area! I’d like to come back for Mount Roosevelt (pictured below) but I think I’d take the trail to Melakwa Lake to avoid the Snow Lake crowds and the extremely rocky trail.
The hike out was quick and easy but it’s like stop and go traffic between Snow Lake and the trailhead. Certainly worth the Wright Mountain views!