Brian Brewer/Flickr (cc by 2.0)
Pratt Lake, Snoqualmie Pass, Washington
Build your backpacking skills while lake hopping in Washington State’s Snoqualmie Pass recreation area. Set out along the Pratt Lake Trail with your trusty Washington Trails map and choose your own adventure through picturesque fir forests. Follow one fork in the road to camp on the shores of the scenic Olallie Lake, or follow the trail to take a dip in the deep blue waters of Talapus Lake. Head up the mountain to visit Pratt Lake and pitch a tent on the banks of the mountain lake, surrounded by huckleberries and sour grass in the summer. Pitch a tent at campsites near the lake. If you are feeling particularly ambitious and want to test your camping skills in the backcountry, trek onwards to Melakwa Lake, which is a day’s hike away or even Kaleetan Lake, where visitors frequently find themselves alone with their thoughts, gray jays, and a thousand stars. This area is also popular with fisherman who can be seen stalking the trails with their favorite poles and have been known to share the lake’s bounty with fellow campers.