This entry describes the most direct approach to the Pratt River Trail, which starts by fording the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. If splashing through the water is not your thing, access the Pratt River Trail via the Pratt Connector Trail, which crosses the Middle Fork River on a very nifty and new bridge (this approach adds 3 miles).
Drive the Middle Fork Road to milepost 9, and park in a parking area on the right side of the road. A bridge immediately crosses a creek, then a short trail leads out to the riverbank. Find the river ford by heading upstream while looking across to the opposite bank. Cross the river where you see the trail continue on the other side. This is only a safe option during the summer when the water is low.
After the ford, head up the Pratt valley for about a mile on old railroad grade before arriving at an intersection signed for “big trees”. This short side trail heads into a forest with old growth, including a massive Doug Fir.
Some hikers choose to turn around here, but others continue heading up the valley. The trail remains forested for its remaining 5.5 miles, at which point the abandoned Old Pratt Lake Trail continues for another 2 miles and 1,200 feet gain to Pratt Lake. This section may require a bit of bushwhacking and route finding, depending on the year.