They don't call it the Alpine Lake Wilderness for nothing. Don’t forget to pick up an Alpine Lakes Wilderness map before you head out into the thick of it. The Snoqualmie to Stevens Pass section of the PCT is purely breathtaking. The extraordinary Enchantment Lakes Basin is worth every huff and puff of the way. Since it is 13 miles from the trailhead, the En route, you’ll wander along decent tread that meanders through cedar groves, rocky slopes, and at times swampy terrain. The trail starts with a … Carissa is an outdoor freelance writer who loves nature, yearns for a good campfire, and lives for the next adventure. Just be mindful of your step and the current. Why you should go: A waterfall-fed lake with the rugged Cathedral Rock towering in the background. See our editorial process to learn more. A great out and back that covers just over 14 miles, through the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area that will be sure to not disappoint, as you will pass 4 lakes, numerous streams, and huge views of the surrounding mountains and jagged peaks that make this close in section of wilderness a fan favorite. Explore some of the most remote wilderness in Washington State and catch views of Glacier Peak, a 10,500 foot, snow capped volcano. Snoqualmie Lake by AlpineFisher. The trail to the lake is well maintained and very much an alpine lover’s dream. Granted conditions are right, you can take a dip in the creek and slip on down the natural waterslide. Following is a list of our favorite hikes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Jade Lake is located in Snoqualmie Region, part of Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Maine is playfully nicknamed “Vacationland,” and at Acadia National Park you’ll quickly see why. Cresting the Cascades will cost you 16,000 feet in elevation, so this section is best left for experienced backpackers. Additional Info: Washington Trails Association. You’ll wind through old-growth forest and mountainous snowfields, with each unique landscape eliciting its own wonderment. Load up the family wagon and spend the day picnicking at Denny Creek. Here's how to choose which may be best for you. Daniel is surrounded by lakes. Caution: in the summer you may find a thin surface layer of snow with nothing beneath it. One of the most strenuous portions is Aasgard Pass, where you’ll gain around 2,000 feet in less than a mile. Push past the hoards of hikers flocking to Snow Lake and find peace trekking out to Upper Wildcat Lake. You can learn more about our editorial and affiliate policy here. If the water is safe for crossing, ford the creek and continue to the Spectacle Lake spur. Less than a mile from the natural waterslide, Keekwulee Falls is best enjoyed in the afternoon when a healthy dose of direct sunlight means waterfall rainbows may be in sight. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is a large wilderness area spanning the Central Cascades of Washington state in the United States.The wilderness is located in parts of Wenatchee National Forest and Snoqualmie National Forest, and is approximately bounded by Interstate 90 and Snoqualmie Pass to the south and U.S. Route 2 and Stevens Pass to the north. Snow Lake is a vision to behold and one worth waking up at dawn to explore. Hikers will encounter a variety of alpine ecosystems, ridgetop views, and of course the deep blue lake — but not without a steady climb first. Alpine Lakes Enchantments overnight permit information. While Jade Lake doesn’t draw in the crowds quite like Snow Lake, it’s just as spectacular nonetheless. Nestled in a rocky basin high on Mount Daniel, Spade Lake is one of the least visited lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness due to it's distance from the nearest trailhead. Cacti & Canines: Best Dog-Friendly Hikes Near Phoenix. “This trail is a total slog,” says Jimmy Fanning on AllTrails. Why you should go: A short yet challenging overnighter to the scenic Hyas Lake and cloud-piercing Cathedral Rock. Also, keep in mind that Section J is remote. While you’re here, you can extend your trip and explore the other lakes in the valley. Press onward to a section of the PCT before reaching your final destination. Basically situated in the central Cascades between US-Highway 2/ Stevens Pass (on the northern end) and I-90/ Snoqualmie Pass (on the southern end), but not including the Teanaway region, the Alpine Lakes Wilderness is administered by both the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Wenatchee National Forest.The Alpine Lakes Wilderness got its name from the 700+ mountain lakes fo… Rest here for the night or continue on. The Pacific Crest Trail runs through the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, including a portion of the hike to Red Pass. This amazing lake got its name due to azure waters that flow from Lynch Glacier. This alpine lake is glacier fed. There isn’t a hard-and-fast rule about using one over the other based on the season. Like any great backpacking trail, the reward is worth the grind. WTA Pro Tip: At 1.75 miles, where the trail begins to switchback upwards, a spur trail offers a brief side trip up the valley to an overlook of Source Lake, the … The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is a large wilderness area in the North Cascades mountain range, located in northern Washington state, the Northwestern United States. As you climb to the top, you’ll be traveling along the south face of Granite Mountain through avalanche tracks and a sensitive alpine ecosystem. This 10.5-mile out-and-back in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness leads to Larch Lake, a backcountry pool rimmed with larch trees and 7,000-foot peaks. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is a large wilderness area spanning the Central Cascades of Washington state in the United States. You can learn more about our editorial and affiliate policy, Differences Between 3-Season vs 4-Season Tents, 10 Best & Most Unique Airbnbs on the Oregon Coast. For overnight permits, check with the ranger station or reserve a wilderness permit online at Recreation.gov. From there, it's all downhill to Snow Lake. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness encompasses 390,000 acres of some of the most enthralling wilderness Washington has to offer. It’s important to be mindful of your step and stay on the trail to help preserve these sensitive habitats. Roughly one mile in, you reach a sign informing you that you’ve entered the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Conquer the climb and enjoy the view. These are the Phoenix-area trails most likely to make your dog's tail wag. I recommend packing map 176s Alpine Lakes West-Stevens Pass and any map covering the surrounding terrain your hiking may entail. If you’re game, read on. If the kiddos aren’t too tuckered out, press on for more family fun at Keekwulee Falls. “Spectacle Lake to Snoqualmie Pass is hands down the most technically challenging but rewarding section of trail on this hike,” says user VagusWonder on WTA. As the trees thin, views of the rugged Cathedral Rock and Granite Mountain appear upon the horizon. When she’s not tapping away at her computer you can find her exploring trails with her partner Taif. No roads cross the trail here, which means no resupplying. A gorgeous, difficult hike that may require off-trail hiking, steep inclines, and multiple river crossings. For those looking to extend their journey, pack about nine more miles into the trip by trekking out to Waptus Lake. Along the way you’ll pass by Gem Lake tucked below Wright’s Mountain. For 67 miles you’ll traverse the Alpine Lakes Wilderness while encountering numerous lakes, meadows, jagged peaks, and old-growth forest. Territory Supply is reader-supported and may earn a commission when you book or purchase using our links. The Chain Lakes Trail is embedded within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Mount Margaret sits just outside the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and mostly follows an old logging road. The trail quickly becomes steeper and rockier. The pristine beauty of this hike is as majestic as it is daunting. The Oregon Coast is the ideal vacation destination if you're seeking seaside serenity. At a single glance, it’s not hard to see what all the fuss is about. The road out is rough, the lake is small, and water is frigid — which is precisely why you should hike there. There's not much out here except cactus and rugged mountains. “Spectacle Lake to Snoqualmie Pass is hands down the most technically challenging but rewarding section of trail on this hike,” says user VagusWonder on WTA . AllTrails vs Gaia Reviews: Which Hiking App is Best? The towering peak of Cathedral Rock sets the mood for the pristine waterfall-fed Deep Lake resting below. This beautiful section of Central Cascades features dozens of lakes. You’re likely to find a good amount of company here as Pete Lake is about four miles in. That is the true beauty of Snow Lake--how readily it shares the splendor of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Gaze out into the distance and you’ll have views of Rainier and the Olympic Peninsula on a clear day. The trail climbs gradually across Source Creek Valley, before launching into some steep switchbacks to the ridge-top. We stayed 2 nights in the fall, and spent our full day doing an intense but rewarding hike right from the camp to the spectacular Larch Lake which is full of delicious trout. If you’re traveling, please check state and local COVID-19 guidelines before booking. The trails to Jade Lake will also take hikers to Marmot and Clarice lakes, The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is a wilderness area located in the central Cascade Mountains of Washington. Resources. Take a dip if you dare. A list of notable lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness is shown, below. Deep Lake is a promising overnighter for alpine lake enthusiasts and backpackers with a couple trips under their belt. Why you should go: Hike through a range of ecosystems before reaching the deep blue waters of Lake Ingalls. “It will take some heart and determination.”. When you’re picturing the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, the name says it all. Perhaps this is why many of the places possess mystical names like Dragontail Peak. Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA: Scottish Lakes High Camp to Larch Lake. Starting at the Cle Elum River crossing, you’ll begin your journey through old-growth forest. The sparkling Spectacle Lake presents quite the scene resting among the snow capped peaks of Chikamin Peak and Lemah Mountain. Why you should go: A moderate trek out to a striking turquoise blue glacier-fed lake. Difficult creek crossings, snowy terrain, and grueling switchbacks all lie ahead. A Hike to Lake Talapus Restrictions: Wilderness regulations apply. Day use permits are free and are self-registered at the trailhead. Be prepared to have your feet get wet and pass through snow even in summer weather. While there are several ways to get there, we recommend starting at the Pete Lake Trailhead. The aim of Alpine Lakes High Camp is to get you close to the beautiful wilderness and it excels at doing that. Whether you have time for a quick afternoon stroll, all-day hiking adventure, or multi-day backpacking expedition, you’re sure to find a winner with any of these scenic trails. Nestled in a high rocky cirque near the upper reaches of Mt Daniel, Spade and Venus Lakes are two of the most remote lakes in the Alpine Lake Wilderness. Rock climbers swarm here for the famous Cashmere Crags, and backpackers are drawn by the majestic landscape of The Enchantments. Don’t be fooled by the mileage — hiking Cathedral Pass and Deception Pass comes with a challenge. Lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness are protected within the Wenatchee National Forest or Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.A list of notable lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness is shown, below. For 67 miles you’ll traverse the Alpine Lakes Wilderness while encountering numerous lakes, meadows, jagged peaks, and old-growth forest. Why you should go: A relatively easy trek out to a picturesque alpine lake with spots for lakeside camping. To approach from the North, take the Pacific Crest Trail heading south from Steven’s Pass to the Icicle Creek Trail to the start of the Chain Lakes … This expansive basin has 2 lakes plus a waterfall, unparalled solitude, and makes for a great practice for off-trail navigation If you’re planning on backpacking The Enchantments from May 15 through October 31, you can obtain a permit on Recreation.gov or the Wenatchee River Ranger Station daily lottery. Seen in: Backpacking, Hike, Pacific Northwest, Washington. As it’s a section hike, you’ll also need to plan for a shuttle vehicle or pickup if you don’t want to retrace your steps. List of lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, "List of lakes of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness", Learn how and when to remove this template message, List of peaks in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=List_of_lakes_of_the_Alpine_Lakes_Wilderness&oldid=987030815, Articles lacking sources from November 2017, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 4 November 2020, at 13:02. This trail is situated in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and must be the most popular trail in Washington, behind only Mount Si for consistent overcrowding. Native to the Cascades, relocation efforts have been underway to remove invasive Olympic mountain goats to the Cascade region, increasing their population size. The hike out will require some work on your part as you switchback through rocky slopes. See our, Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. Wilderness Permits required for day-hiking within the reservation area, as well as day use and overnight trips in other areas of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, are available on a self-issue basis at trailheads. “Jade Lake is so called because of its turquoise waters, colored by glacial silt,” says Matthew Leib on Backpacker Magazine. Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA: High Lakes Trail. As you pass the lake, you’ll wander through meadows, tread a narrow switchback, and traverse a talus slope. Glacier worn rocks, pristine lakes, craggy snow covered peaks, subalpine larches, and salt loving mountain goats all reside here. Join 80,000+ adventurers getting epic travel, camping and hiking ideas every week. Don’t expect the whole route to be easy going, though. Hikers, mountain bikers, and swimming hole enthusiasts will all find the Opal Creek Trail accessible and enjoyable. Over the years they have become habituated to humans and can be aggressive. Alpine Lakes Wilderness Permit Application Application is for the Enchantment Lakes, Stuart, Colchuck, Snow, Eightmile Lakes areas. Why you should go: An exhilarating trek up the south side of a mountain to a panoramic view and a lookout tower at 3,800 feet. Beginning at Tuquala Meadows, you’ll climb gently through the forest to Hyas Lake. WTA offers information about hiking the Alpine Lakes, such as trail length and elevation gains, along with a travel article accompanying each featured hike. Why you should go: A gentle stroll to a natural waterslide and waterfall that the kids will be crazy about. If you find descents hard on the knees, consider opting to do the loop clockwise. Travel Articles. The trail to the left continues to Pratt Lake, but take the fork to the right and begin climbing in earnest. Plan on taking enough food for a five day journey, give or take. Another quarter mile beyond, you reach the junction to Granite Mountain. Fortunately the switchbacks don’t last long before you reach your final destination, so it’s a quick grind that’s easily doable for most hikers. Not far from the spur, you’ll reach Spectacle Lake. In order to access this trail you must first hike in along one or more other trails. If you happen to be hiking early in the season, be prepared to encounter snowy slopes. About a mile from the trailhead you’ll find a spot for water play. The largest of these are Marmot and Jade Lakes, to the north, Hyas Lake to the east and Spade, Circle, Venus, and Deep Lakes to the south. Best trails in Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington | AllTrails As the crowds thin out past the lake, you’ll encounter Lemah Creek. Boulder has gained a lot of popularity over recent years because it is a rock climber’s paradise and a hiker’s gateway to the Rocky Mountains. Views of Mount Stuart and Esmeralda Peaks will greet you along the way, luring you to continue steadily to the lake. While it may be tempting to stay, the apex of your journey is right around the corner. Leashes are also required on several popular trails in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Rather, it’s a case-by-case decision that comes down to the expected weather conditions and your personal preferences. If you couldn’t get an overnight pass, you can still experience this area with a worthy hike out to Cholchuck Lake. Best suited for the experienced hikers, Granite Mountain is a solid day romp for those seeking exhilarating terrain. Territory Supply is reader-supported and may earn a commission when you book or purchase using our links. You can easily fall through snow as it melts. Watch your footing and stay on the trail. This is a popular destination for larch lovers nestled in the Teanaway Valley near Cle Elum. Sign up for our free email to join thousands of readers getting epic travel, hiking, camping and gear ideas every week. Be prepared, however, for a notable amount of elevation change. Lake Ingalls may cover a lot of ground for a day hike, but the scenery will have you forgetting all about your weary feet. “Midweek permits are easier to come by than weekend ones,” says Mike Lanza on Backpacker Magazine. Jade Lake is one of several lakes tucked away in Necklace Valley. Even so, it is worth the effort of hiking on some stretches of rough, steep trail to experience the serenity and see the rich turquoise water of this lonely lake. Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases from Amazon.com. The wilderness is located in parts of Wenatchee National Forest and Snoqualmie National Forest, and is approximately bounded by Interstate 90 and Snoqualmie Pass to the south and U.S. Route 2 and Stevens Pass to the north. If you encounter a mountain goat, keep your distance. Hike by WTA Correspondents: John Soltys. Number one on this bucket list, The Enchantments are what legends are made of. Granite Mountain isn’t for the faint of heart. Day use and overnight wilderness permits are required for several of the hikes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. With camp on the shores of this beautiful backcountry lake, this BCRT provides a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act by joining us on a project that will help keep the trails in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in great shape. The 15 Best Hikes in the Mount Baker Wilderness. Why you should go: Visit Snow Lake, Gem Lake, Lower Wildcat Lake, and Upper Wildcat Lake on an epic two-day trek. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is home to a variety of ecosystems, including fragile alpine habitats. Words don’t do The Enchantments justice. These maps incorporate an incredible amount of detail, from topo to forest roads to trails. She’s currently based in Washington, where she hopes to one day catch a sighting of the elusive fisher in its natural habitat. This spot is a family favorite thanks to its easy-breezy trail grade and refreshing swimming hole. There are only a handful of routes you can take, all of which demand every ounce of strength you’ve got. The cloud piercing Cathedral Rock and Mount Daniel are certainly the highlights, while the alpine meadows, river valley, and tranquil Hyas Lake aren’t too shabby themselves. Dogs also must always be on leash on many trails in the popular Alpine Lakes Wilderness. But first, the trail starts from Snoqualmie Pass and into the Commonwealth Basin, with old-growth forests and more great vistas of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. If the name Kendall Katwalk conjures up an image of a narrow pathway blasted out of a steeply sloped rock face, that’s part of it. Beginner backpackers will appreciate the relatively gentle grade out to the lake. Also, be on the lookout for mountain goats. Grab a snack and take in the view because the smooth sailing won’t last. Nestled among a rugged landscape, Upper Wildcat Lake offers more solitude along a less traveled path. The Alpine Lakes Wilderness is a large wilderness area in the North Cascades mountain range, located in northern Washington state, the Northwestern United States. As a Washington resident, Green Trails maps have become my bible for navigating the outdoors. Lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness are protected within the Wenatchee National Forest or Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Choose any of the other Alpine Lakes Wilderness hikes and you’ll find yourself a winner. This includes most trails accessed from I-90 and on Highway 2 west of Stevens Pass. As you break from the forest, you begin your switchback through open meadows. A vibrant turquoise blue, Jade Lake’s jarring color is a striking contrast to the craggy peaks. As one of the most popular hikes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Lake Ingalls certainly won’t disappoint. Lake Ingalls, Alpine Lakes Wilderness. At mile eight you’ll reach a remote basin, where you’ll find the forested Lower Wildcat Lake. But the whole package includes old growth forest, gorgeous wildflowers, and stunning views into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness from both sides of the pass below Kendall Peak, where the Katwalk begins. Why you should go: Visit one of the most popular and scenic lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. But it has incredible views to north and east, and a bounty of berries in the late summer and fall. Why you should go: A grueling and remote photographic section of the PCT that crests the Cascades. The Alpine Lakes is the largest wilderness … Don’t let the crowds turn you away from this uber-popular destination. It would be utter blasphemy not to mention The Enchantments in any conversation about the Alpine Lakes Wilderness trails. 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