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Soda Peaks Lake West Hike

From Oregon Hikers Field Guide

Soda Peaks Lake (Dean Myerson)
Oval-leaved blueberries, Soda Peaks Lake (Dean Myerson)
Soda Peaks Lake at sunrise (Dean Myerson)
The western route to Soda Peaks Lake (bobcat)
  • Start point: Soda Peaks TrailheadRoad.JPG
  • End point: Soda Peaks Lake
  • Hike Type: In and out
  • Distance: 4.4 miles
  • Elevation gain: 1270 feet
  • High Point: 4780 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Seasons: Summer and Fall
  • Family Friendly: Yes, for older kids
  • Backpackable: Yes
  • Crowded: No


Hike Description

Soda Peaks Lake, formerly known as Lost Lake, is in the southern portion of the Trapper Creek Wilderness in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. It is about 15 miles north of the town of Carson. The Soda Peaks Lake Trail (#133) passes by the lake and has trailheads both east and west of the lake; see the hike description for the Soda Peaks Lake via Trapper Creek Hike for the longer option. There are a number of good campsites at the lake, which lies nestled in a glacial cirque below the summit of an old volcano that erupted about 360,000 years ago.

At the trailhead, sign in for your wilderness permit. Walk up through a fireweed-adorned clearcut to a stand of old growth on the Soda Peaks Trail #133. Then hike through another clear cut, and enter coniferous forest again. Skirt a third cut on a steep hillside. Get a view of Mount Adams from here. Ascend to a ridge, and then begin a steep ascent towards the peaks. Cross a scree slope squeaking with alarmed pikas. Pass the Trapper Creek Wilderness sign at a viewpoint and high point on the trail on a saddle above the lake. There are views of Mount Adams, Goat Rocks, and Mount Rainier. Just to the south is the summit of the Soda Peaks volcano. Head down the ridge on a trail of switchbacks to the north side of the lake, passing another pika-dominated scree slope. Vine maple brightens this slope in the fall. Enjoy the small, circular lake where dragonflies hover on a warm day. There are a couple of campsites here, at least one with a fire pit, for overnighters. There are brook trout in the lake, so bring a rod if you want to fry one up for dinner.


  • Maps: Hike Finder
  • Green Trails Maps: Lookout Mtn, WA #396
  • Trapper Creek Wilderness (USFS)
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Adams Wilderness, Indian Heaven Wilderness, Trapper Creek Wilderness
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Mt. Adams Ranger District
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service: Gifford Pinchot National Forest
  • National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map: Mount St. Helens - Mt. Adams

Regulations or Restrictions, etc.

  • Self-issued Wilderness Permit

Trip Reports

Related Discussions / Q&A

Guidebooks that cover this hike

  • 95 Virtual Hikes of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument by Northwest Hiker
  • Washington's South Cascades Volcanic Landscapes by Marge and Ted Mueller
  • Hiking Washington's Mount Adams Country by Fred Barstad
  • Day Hike! Columbia Gorge by Seabury Blair, Jr.
  • Take a Hike: Portland by Barbara I. Bond
  • Portland Hikes by Art Bernstein and Andrew Jackman
  • Day Hiking: Columbia River Gorge by Craig Romano
  • 33 Hiking Trails: Southern Washington Cascades by Don and Roberta Lowe
  • Exploring Washington's Wild Areas by Marge & Ted Mueller
  • Hiking the Gifford Pinchot Backcountry by the Columbia Group Sierra Club

More Links


Oregon Hikers Field Guide is built as a collaborative effort by its user community. While we make every effort to fact-check, information found here should be considered anecdotal. You should cross-check against other references before planning a hike. Trail routing and conditions are subject to change. Please contact us if you notice errors on this page.

Hiking is a potentially risky activity, and the entire risk for users of this field guide is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Trailkeepers of Oregon be liable for any injury or damages suffered as a result of relying on content in this field guide. All content posted on the field guide becomes the property of Trailkeepers of Oregon, and may not be used without permission.