Last Sunday I went hiking with the goal of reaching the Alta Mountain peak but we turned around at Rachel Lake because my hiking buddy was sick. You can also hit Lila Lake or Rampart Lake if you want to extend this hike. I highly recommend this hike, especially if you are with people who aren’t in the best of shape or are just getting into hiking. There are some steep spots towards the end so you do break a little sweat if you are moving good. You don’t need boots for this hike and a pair of tennis shoes work just fine. (I used my Brooks Pure Grit trail shoes.) I got warm during the hike but put on pants and a jacket at the lake cause it was fairly chilly despite the glaring sun.
Most of the hike is pretty flat but it’s long enough that its worth the drive. It’s great for people who are in the Ellensburg area or just over the pass on the west side because it’s right smack in the middle. Try to get their early though because parking is tough. Its a pretty popular spot! It takes about 45 minutes to drive their and this hike took about 4 1/2 hours of my day, travel time, stopping to eat time included.
There are camping spots near the start of the hike but camping is not allowed on or near the trail
Find directions to the hike here.