swimming in mirror lake

Adam and I spent a satisfying day at crystal clear Mirror Lake, in the general vicinity of Snoqualmie Pass. I’ve been curious about this deep 29 acre lake ever since I spied it looking straight down from Tinkham Peak a few years ago. Mirror Lake isn’t exactly a secret, the more accessible parts of it’s shore have been mashed up a little over the years and show wear and tear. The Pacific Crest Trail does a flyby. But so close to Puget Sound City, to me the lake feels like a tucked-away gem (maybe the looping drive around Keechelus Reservoir adds to the sensation). It’s a pithy-short hike and short on glamor-by-reputation: Old clearcuts border the trailhead. So the hordes tend to go places right at the Pass like Snow Lake or Denny Creek. But on weekdays like today, it’s relatively quiet at Mirror Lake. Adam and I had the outlet end of the lake to ourselves.

The rock in the background was named “Shiver Rock” by Adam. We tried really hard to get out there together, but it got too deep and I’m only a serviceable swimmer so Adam had to content himself with clutching my arms as I swished him back and forth. For his satisfaction I swam out to Shiver Rock in my underwear twice, navigating slimy boulders and floating firs: One minute it would be waist deep, the next I’d be in over my head! I was a little disappointed how cool the day was (low 70s), it was too chilly for Adam to stay in the water very long. He started shivering uncontrollably after 20 minutes in the lake and I had to get out and help him layer up to stem the teeth-chattering. I wasn’t cold at all, which I found surprising.

I got a few beautiful pictures of the lake, it seemed the sky was streaked all day long with lovely clouds. Disappointingly, I was swimming at the time some especially stunning popcorn-and-mackerel clouds filled the sky over Tinkham Peak and the lake. My timing stinks! But overall, a really fun and easygoing day. I think I’m going to backpack here with Adam before winter (Lake Ann by Mt. Baker is our other planned overnight). It’s such an easy hike and so close to home, IMHO Mirror Lake makes for a phenomenally good starter backpack for children.

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