PCT Mile 2394 – 2416
Miles Hiked = 22
After two zero days in Snoqualmie Pass, Sydney and I were ready to get back on the trail. We were at the hotel restaurant at 7am, had a quick breakfast and were walking down the road towards the trail by 8am.
It only took ten minutes to get back to the trail. Our next resupply would be at Stevens Pass – about seventy-one miles away. We planned on needing four days and three nights to get there.
This next section would be challenging with over seventeen thousand feet of elevation gain across those seventy-one miles. We left the paved road and entered the forest and would gain over forty-five hundred feet in the next twelve miles. Up, up & up!
We entered the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
After two-plus hours and over two thousand feet of elevation gain, we had a bit of a distant view looking down at I-90.
Late in the morning we left the forest but continued uphill and enjoyed views of the rugged northern Cascade mountains.
Our views were somewhat obscured because of the low-hanging clouds. Luckily we didn’t have any rain😊.
Late in the morning we passed by Gravel Lake and took time for a quick snack.
A little later we passed above Alaska Lake, set in a beautiful hanging valley below the trail.
We then spent several hours traversing around the northern end of this spectacular valley
If you look closely you can see the trail on the other side of the valley – we’ll be there in an hour or so.
Then we passed above Joe Lake – another beautiful lake .
Sydney always has a smile on her face and never complains – I think she enjoys this long distance hiking!
Later in the afternoon we encountered a mountain goat and her kid! Wow! Mama goat just walked right down the trail and passed by southbound hikers – she didn’t seem to be afraid of hikers at all. The juvenile goat didn’t want to get too close to hikers and scurried up the mountain away from the trail but was nervous to get too far away from Mama.
After our goat encounter we continued on and eventually turned a corner and had a view to the north. It was a beautiful day to the north with less clouds. The deep blue skies, white puffy clouds and majestic views were inspiring.
A little later we saw this marmot along the trail – it was quite cute.
Late in the afternoon, as the trail was descending, we passed by spectacular Spectacle Lake. It would have been a great place to camp but we still had a few more miles.
An hour or so later we crossed over a bridge right below a cascading waterfall along Delate Creek.
At 6:30pm we were still going downhill as we passed through another burn zone. The sun was getting low and just the mountain tops were bathed in sunshine.
A little later, as we neared possible camping sites, we met some deer hunters that had been out scouting the area – hunting season starts in a few weeks.
Today was a challenging day with almost six thousand feet of elevation gain over the twenty-two miles that we hiked. But we passed through some beautiful country, so I’m happy.
As we approached 7:30pm, most of the campsites that we had targeted were already occupied but we soon found a nice place to camp right next to a little stream. It was almost 8pm so we quickly set up our tents in the fading light, collected some water and enjoyed a “gourmet” freeze-dried meal. Today was a tough day but it gave back more than it demanded – that’s all we are looking for!
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