Preacher Mountain by Caroline Peak via Rainy Lake Trail / 牧師山

  • Reading time:6 mins read

Preacher Mountain and Caroline Peak share a long ridgeline above Pratt River. Wild Dare Peak near the east rises above Wildcat Lakes and Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. Meanwhile, Rainy Lake Trail offers a route of the least resistance.

Preacher Mountain's real summit
Preacher Mountain’s real summit

See more trip photos here.

Preacher Mountain at a Glance

Access: Middle Fork Snoqualmie Trailhead
Round Trip: 11 miles
Elevation Range: 1040′-5924′
Gear: snowshoes
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: with guidance

Hiking in Middle Fork Snoqualmie

I took the pups to Mount Townsend in the Olympic Mountains yesterday. Then, today, I looked for something more challenging and settled on Preacher Mountain. The day’s low avalanche danger was perfect timing.

I convinced two coworkers to join me on this sunny day. They thought it’d be great to see Rainy Lake but weren’t sure about climbing the mountain. So we drove separately, in case they changed their minds at the lake.

One step at a time
One step at a time

See more trip photos here.

Rainy Lake Below Preacher Mountain

One other car was in the lot when we reached the trailhead at 7:30. After crossing the Middle Fork bridge, we discovered the trail blasting was underway. So we walked around the machinery and onto the trail past a creek.

The firm snow to Rainy Lake let us keep the snowshoes on our packs. Then, after a long break and a quick lunch, my coworkers decided to return to the car. I soon went onto the ridge east of the lake and continued.

Rainy Lake below Preacher Mountain
Rainy Lake below Preacher Mountain

See more trip photos here.

Viewing Alpine Lakes Wilderness From the Top

Snowshoes were crucial as snow had considerably softened from the heat. It took a while to traverse the steep ridge to the 5200′ tarn. There were several steep sections to bypass, but overall, it was manageable.

Summit rocks had a thick layer of snow while cornices hung over the east. The clear day offered views in all directions, plus three volcanos: Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, and Glacier Peak.

Meanwhile, I checked out Caroline Peak next door and got a free tan during my 45-minute visit. Afterward, I began the long road down to Rainy Lake, followed by an even longer way to return to the car.

Summit joy
Summit joy

See more trip photos here.

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