If you can handle the start of this trail, the views and setting up higher really pay off. A steep, viewless climb gives way to a traverse to a lake basin which then opens up a nice grassy ledge scramble to the summit ridge. The views up top are amazing and you'll want to hang out above the lake in the meadows if the bugs aren't too bad (and they can be). There is a summit register to sign as you gaze around at the North Cascades and various volcanoes. It's a great way to spend half a day in the Leavenworth area.
See the Getting There section on the main page for directions to the trailhead.
From the trailhead, follow the trail up and up into the forest. Not much in the way of switchbacks to start off. You'll gain over a thousand feet in under a mile. The trail then eases off and traverses to the right losing about a hundred feet or so. It then curves back left and climbs up Minotaur Creek to a few small meadows. At 2.5 to 3 miles, you will reach Minotaur Lake's south point. It's a great place to enjoy a rest.
From the south point, head around by trail to the east side of the lake and follow the trail through various campsites. Great views down on the right to Theseus Lake but watch the cliffs here. Continue through the campsites and the trail with gain the bouldery basin beneath a saddle in the ridge above. There is a small boulder field which, once you are through it, you will come to a fork in the trail. The right fork will take you over to a cliff beneath the summit on the northern end of the mountain. From there you can pick up one of many small paths that weave back and forth up to the summit. The left fork will zig zag up to the summit ridge as well, just south of the summit. Either way, the ground is open and one could pick any number of ways to reach the summit. This is mostly Class 2 with maybe one or two Class 3 moves. Total distance is 3.5 miles with 2700 feet of elevation gain.
None needed. Keep in mind this area can be VERY buggy into August so remembe the DEET. Biting flies from the trailhead to the lake. Then mosquitos everywhere above that.
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