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North Cascades Alpine Lakes wilderness
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North Cascades Alpine Lakes wilderness

North Cascades Alpine Lakes wilderness

Page Type: Trip Report

Location: Washington, United States, North America

Object Title: North Cascades Alpine Lakes wilderness

Date Climbed/Hiked: Aug 3, 2016

Activities: Hiking, Scrambling

Season: Summer


Page By: goofball

Created/Edited: Aug 13, 2016 / Aug 14, 2016

Object ID: 979667

Hits: 570 

Page Score: 79.78%  - 11 Votes 

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Gloomy or sunny ? Think I like gloomy best.

After stopping at Skykomish Ranger Station to pick up my NW Forest Pass, and finding out Glacier Peak Wilderness had an active burn right where I planned to go - Carne high route to Spider Gap to Buck Creek Pass, I wound up in Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Not bad. Got no complaints. So I headed to Necklace Valley TH to check it out.

The day started completely overcast, steel grey, and progressed from intermittent drizzle to full blown rain. Fantastic ! Fog drifted around higher up, and everything was wet and light was flat. I absolutely loved it. So I decided to stop short of Tank Lakes and camp in a beautiful meadow to enjoy the forest in its gloomy state. I usually head straight for higher ground asap, but I was enchanted by how beautiful it was below. So green and wet. The rest of that day it rained off and on as I enjoyed my immediate vicinity, and the sound of rain hitting the fly of the tent lulled me off to sleep.

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The mossy wall

Crek x-ing


Creek x-ing

East Fork Foss River

East Fork Foss River

Portal to the upside-down



Rock n' water n' trees


Next morning saw cloud cover begin to break, until only the highest ridges remained in shifting clouds. So after poking around lower lakes for a bit, I got high and checked out Tank Lakes area in the afternoon. Also lovely. But I remained camped in my meadow to enjoy one more evening there under now clear skys.

Lake Al-let

Locket Lake


Trickley falls

Meadows above Opal Lake

Getting higher

Near Foehn Lake

Next morning I moved up to a primo spot at Tank Lakes for the next 2 nights. Wandering first the benches below to the south, and next day traversing over to Chain and La Bohn lakes. I found La Bohn pretty meh, but Chain Lakes were nice I thought. I came across some adit's along the traverse, they were serious about whatever riches they thought they'd find. Must not of panned out though. And saw military jets bank and invert overhead, and below me ! a couple times. So close I could have seen a pilot had they been facing my way.

Glacier Peak mocking me

Mount Hinman (?)

Tank Lakes home

West Fork Foss River drainage and Otter Lake

Summit Chief above Williams Lake

Summit Chief and Overcoat above Williams Lake

Foehn Lake

Summit Chief and Overcoat from camp above Tank Lakes

Cloud River

All that was left after that was the hike back out in rather harsh, fully sunny conditions. Not near the character or mood of the hike up. Then off to the Whistle Stop (?) in Skykomish for some GREAT food. Fish n' JoJo's. And some fried chicken. Drooooool...




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NormanAlpine Lakes


Voted 10/10

Way to go on the trip report... beautiful photography, thanks for the post.
Posted Aug 17, 2016 8:59 pm

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