Jade Lake and Marmot Lake are both popular backpacking destinations in the summer, however Dip Top and Lynch are seldom climbed. One reason for the neglect of these peaks might be distance. It's roughly 27 miles round-trip to climb both peaks via the easiest route. Also there is a glacier crossing to consider albeit a benign one. To reach the summit of Dip Top also requires some scrambling on clean granite and a short section of exposed narrow ridge.
The col between the peaks is known as Dip Top Gap. This high saddle boasts one of the best views in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and it's no secret. Many hikers make the difficult trek up to Dip Top Gap with no summit bid in mind. The view of the north face of Mount Daniel and the Lynch Glacier rising above the newly formed Pea Soup Lake is jaw-dropping. It's one of those alpine scenes that would fit into nearly any premier mountain range in the world.
Standard RouteIt is mention-worthy that a more difficult traverse route from Mount Daniel exists, however that route will not be described here. Perhaps someone will make a route page at some future time.
Hike north on the Deception Pass trail. Don't get confused and end up starting out on the Cathedral Pass trail. After the first mile you will pass Hyas Lake with numerous camping spots. After the first 4 miles you will pass the Tuck and Robin Lakes spur trail. Just under 5 miles from the trailhead you will come to a 4 way junction at Deception Pass.
A sign on a tree will direct you to the Marmot Lake trail. Hike another 3 miles on trail to Marmot Lake. You will pass the Lake Clarice spur trail junction along the way. From Marmot Lake go south following the unofficial trail along east shore of the lake and ascend a steep gully with a talus slope at the top. It's two miles from Marmot Lake to Dip Top Gap. Boot paths and cairns make for easy navigation. Cross the talus to the climbers left-hand side and follow sections of trail up to No Name Lake.
From No Name Lake the trail descends slightly to Jade Lake where you can see part of Dip Top Peak as well as the small glacier. The trail continues around the east side of Jade Lake. Watch for the correct path which ascends over and around some troublesome cliff bands and then descend the steep dirt to the north shore of Jade Lake. That's it! The end of the trail. You're on your own now.
From Jade Lake ascend scree and glacial silt, or snow in early season, to reach the base of the glacier. Crampons and ice axe or micro-spikes are suggested here. Stay along the eastern edge of the glacier to avoid minor crevasse danger. Once at Dip Top Gap, the scramble route for Dip Top Peak begins. Take a moment to appreciate the view of Pea Soup Lake, Mount Daniel, and the Lynch Glacier.
From the gap, traverse around to the south side of the east ridge of Dip Top Peak. Ascend some down-sloping slab ramps with a few short class 3 steps. Look for a safe and easy spot to regain the crest of the east ridge and then follow it westward to the summit. Just before the summit is a narrow exposed section. Use extra care here.
Getting There / Driving DirectionsDrive I-90 east from Snoqualmie Pass or west from Ellensburg and take Exit 80.
Proceed north through Roslyn and Ronald and toward Salmon la Sac, 16 miles from Roslyn.
Just before entering this little community, turn right on Forest Road 4330 and drive another 12.5 miles to the end of the road and the Deception Pass trailhead.