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Welcome to the blog! I’m a small-town Florida girl and Army wife relocated to the Seattle Suburbs, documenting love from one coast to the other. I live for a good PNW mountain breeze, sweat pants, and local eats. Let's be friends!

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Snow Lake + Gem Lake Backcountry Camping | 7.5.16

Filed in: Personal

Raven and I finally fulfilled a long awaited dream of ours. For years we’ve been wanting to go camping together and have been making due with day hikes and mini-adventures while building up our gear. I mean, it’s no joke the amount of stuff you need (and don’t need) for back-country camping. The research alone is pretty killer. My dad used to take me camping a lot when I was younger and I think I have him to thank for my love of the outdoors. Our trips have become some of my favorite childhood memories and the wilderness has become my permanent happy place.

Not really knowing how I would fare with a ton of weight on my back, we started off with a fairly moderate trek to Snow and Gem Lakes. Being out in the mountains completely rejuvenates me. There’s nothing that can silence my mind like the beauty of this state and although I still take my camera because what photographer could resist some epic fog and scenic views, I still let it rest the entire hike back so I can be in the moment. Be prepared to be overwhelmed with the beauty this state has to offer, I really couldn’t help myself.

Hike info can be found at the bottom of the blog. 🙂

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Best outdoor purchase + women’s hiking boots ever. I have literally worn these things in water, snow, dessert, rainforest and the mountains without getting a single blister. Love love love Ahnu!
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This first one is his typical picture face. I couldn’t help but share. Ohhhhh the photographer’s husband!
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Just have to say, my hubs did an amazing job picking out this tent. He researched ultra-light 2 person tents for almost 6 months and decided to go with the MSR Hubba Hubba from REI.  This thing was surrounded by water when we woke up but somehow we stayed dry the whole night. We got ours from REI – MSR Hubba Hubba.
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STATS + HIKE INFO:

For those of you who are interested in visiting, both lakes are found in the Snoqualmie region and have parking available at the Alpental entrance. A National Park Pass can be used or it’s $5/day cash upon arrival. Both hikes are absolutely stunning taking you through scenic views, waterfalls, ridge lines, ponds and lakes. Our trip started on July 5th and there was still snow in some areas, quite a bit of mud and some flying bugs near the water. The trails were fairly moderate, not too challenging but definitely had a lot of rocky areas and footing with large tree roots.

Snow Lake – 7.2 miles round trip | 1800ft. elevation gain | 4,400ft highest point

Gem Lake – Along the same route but the trail takes you over the North Western ridge line.

10.5 miles round trip | Highest elevation point 4,857 ft.

comments +

  1. Sierra

    July 11th, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    LOVE all of these. Cant wait to visit

  2. Megan Montalvo Photography

    July 12th, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    Can’t wait for you to visit!

  3. Laura Ryan

    July 12th, 2016 at 12:21 am

    Snow lake is the perfect place for your adventure heart! I am so jealous but glad you and Raven took the time to fulfill your dream of doing this together. You will have these memories to cherish forever!

  4. Megan Montalvo Photography

    July 12th, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    We will go again when Caden’s here!

  5. Courtney Bond

    July 12th, 2016 at 12:59 am

    This are STUNNING photos and you truly captured the area! What an amazing trip!

  6. Megan Montalvo Photography

    July 12th, 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Thank you Courtney! It was pretty amazing, you’ll have to check it out!

  7. Nicole Edmonds

    August 22nd, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    Amazing photos, thank you for sharing your journey! It reminds me a lot of our backcountry hiking trip into the Grand Canyon! It is a memory I cherish every day.

  8. Megan Montalvo Photography

    August 24th, 2016 at 1:22 am

    Thank you for the kind words Nicole. So happy you enjoyed the photos! 🙂

  9. Autumn Rudolph

    September 9th, 2016 at 4:11 am

    Snow Lake looks amazing! This is one hike I’ve had on my list for a while as well. Big props to you guys for camping out there and I’m super excited to check out those hiking boots you recommended! I just told my husband the other day that I need a good pair of hiking shoes.

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