Snow Lake: An Unexpected Sunrise Hike


I (Berty) took this trip to Snow Lake with our friends Matt and Jess just before we went to Indonesia for the summer. As tropical packing ensued, these photos got pushed to the wayside. Since then, we’ve pulled these photos from my hard drive and wanted to share them with you now!


This hike was completely spontaneous. The night before, I was hanging out with a group of my friends and I decided the next morning I wanted to do a sunrise hike at Snow Lake. Most people were thrown off by the idea, even Emily. She was working the next day, and decided that it would make for a tired day if she went on a morning hike. However, two of my friends, Matt and Jess, decided they wanted to go. Whoa Yes! I was pumped.


One thing about me, I’m not a morning person. At all. But when I have a mission in the wee hours of the morning, I don’t care what time it is, I’m getting up for that adventure.

We all woke up at 2:30am. I went to pick up Matt and Jess by 3:00. Afterwards, we made our way to Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascade Mountains. We arrived at the parking lot and we started hiking right before 4:00am. I was so pumped at this point; the word “tired” never entered my mind. The things that grabbed my attention were the sweet smell of morning and the potential for a stunning sunrise by the lake.


It was a dark, wet, and rainy hike.

When we reached the Snow Lake, it was covered in fog. At this point we knew we weren’t going to see the sun rising due to the weather. However, hanging on to any last hope we had that the fog might clear out, we then waited nearby and began making breakfast. This consisted of using the Jetboil to make coffee, and Powerbars to fuel us for the trek down.

camping in the pnw 4

After our coffee, we determined that the sun wasn’t coming out for us after all. Nonetheless, we decided to stay a while and take portraits with the fog in the background. Even though we didn’t see the sun, it was a spectacular view to see the lake in this state of peace and blanketed in white.


Again, this is why I love being spontaneous. This hike might not have gone the way we intended it to, but the alternative that nature provided for us was everything. It was a good reminder that it’s all about the process and the unexpected moments. I was glad I was able to share this moment with close friends, and spend the morning outdoors breathing in that fresh air.

Until next time,


Photos By: Berty Mandagie

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Snow Lake: An Unexpected Sunrise Hike