Directions: Take the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway to the signed Sno-Park, it will be on the right.
The Swampy Lakes area has multiple snowshoe and x-country skiing trails. We were snowshoeing so we’ll be talking about the snowshoe trails. For a map of the whole area with all of the trails click here.
Trail options: A short loop (1.75 miles) and long loop (3.25 miles). Tie trail that takes you to a nearby Sno-Park. Lastly, the porcupine trail that takes you past the lakes and to a shelter with a wood stove, this can be done as a 4.6 mile loop or an out and back that is 4 miles.
The weather we encountered was less than ideal, strong winds and steady snow made for low visibility. We decided to explore a small section of the porcupine trail and the short loop.
All of the trails are very well marked with blue diamonds that have a yellow snowshoer inside. The trails all go through a very pretty lodgepole pine forest that switches from heavily treed to sparse. The loops seem to have little elevation and the porcupine trail rollercoasters the whole way. This is a great place to spend time just exploring around.
There are designated trails for what activity you are doing, please make sure you are paying attention to the diamonds and not getting on a x-country trail with your snowshoes.
We can’t wait to come back on a day where the weather allows us more time to see more of the area.
Distance: Depends on which trail you choose
Elevation: Depends- some loops are flat, some take you up buttes with quite a bit of elevation.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate
Pet Friendly: No. Dogs are not allowed on any of the trails in the Sampy Lakes area.
Good For: All ages
Bathrooms: Yes at the parking area
Parking Fee: Sno-Park Pass
Seasons: Snowy months for snowshoeing and x-country skiing
Overall: Great area, looking forward to going back and seeing the snow shelter.