The Asahel Curtis Nature Trail and Annette Lake Trail branch from side-by-side trailheads. On the left is the Asahel Curtis Nature Trail, a short loop trail that can be enjoyed on its own or as a worthwhile addition to a jaunt up to Annette Lake by the trail on the right. The Asahel Curtis Nature Trail loops through one of the last remaining pockets of old-growth woodland in the Snoqualmie River Valley and is named for Asahel Curtis, an early photographer of nature in Washington, Yukon, and Alaska. Its relatively flat tread ambles through lush, many-storied woodland ranging from ferns and orchids peeping from the forest shadows to lofty, old-growth giants draping their evergreen canopy over all. Numerous small signs along the trail provide a self-guided tour with descriptions of many trailside features. Although not an ADA-accessible trail, the nature trail’s short distance and gentle grade offer a pleasant woodland experience to those who may not wish to undergo the rigors of a more strenuous hike. Just off of Interstate 90, the nature trail also provides a scenic break on a long drive (a privy is available at the nearby Asahel Curtis Picnic Area); however, the freeway whir is always within earshot.
The rightward trail to Annette Lake climbs moderately along the slopes of Silver Peak through varied stands of dense, mostly old-growth conifer forest laced with cheery rivulets. Along the way, glimpses of Humpback Mountain open to the west. The upper portion of the trail is also interrupted by massive boulderfields that are Silver Peak’s winter and spring avalanche chutes — when snow is present, be sure to check avalanche reports before hiking this trail. The trail’s destination is a jewel-hued lake set beyond a heavy forest fringe that reaches to the very water’s edge. Beyond the trailhead, the rush of Interstate 90 is soon lost among the woodland folds, but do expect the company of other hikers, as Annette Lake is a popular hiking destination.