Central Alpine Lakes Loop Backpacking

Cle Elum, Washington

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4 Reviews
5 out of 5
The 75-mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail between Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Pass is a very popular backpack trip, and it deserves to be. The route is supremely scenic with countless viewpoints, beautiful forests, acres of huckleberries, rugged mountains, and several gorgeous lakes. The entire trip is rather strenuous, however, and it requires either a lengthy car shuttle or careful timing to meet the buses that service both ends. These arrangements are a bit cumbersome, so I recommend doing a loop trip instead. This not only solves the transportation problem but also allows you to sample some of the trail’s best miles without having to work as hard as you would with the full trip. Finally, since you won’t have the mindset of having to get from Point Ato Point B in time to meet the bus, you can set a more leisurely pace and take the time to do several spectacular side trips to some of the most beautiful places in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Backpacking Washington

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Backpacking Washington

by Douglas Lorain (Wilderness Press)

The 75-mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail between Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Pass is a very popular backpack trip, and it deserves to be. The route is supremely scenic with countless viewpoints, beautiful forests, acres of huckleberries, rugged mountains, and several gorgeous lakes.

The entire trip is rather strenuous, however, and it requires either a lengthy car shuttle or careful timing to meet the buses that service both ends. These arrangements are a bit cumbersome, so I recommend doing a loop trip instead. This not only solves the transportation problem but also allows you to sample some of the trail’s best miles without having to work as hard as you would with the full trip. Finally, since you won’t have the mindset of having to get from Point Ato Point B in time to meet the bus, you can set a more leisurely pace and take the time to do several spectacular side trips to some of the most beautiful places in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

©  Douglas Lorain/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Cle Elum
Distance: 35
Elevation Gain: 4,600 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 3-4 days
Season: Usually open Mid-July to October; best late July to early August
Trailhead Elevation: 2,800 feet
Top Elevation: feet
Local Contacts: Cle Elum Ranger District
Local Maps: USFS - Alpine Lakes Wilderness
Driving Directions: Directions to Central Alpine Lakes Loop (Backpacking)

Recent Trail Reviews

6/25/2007
0

Waptus river bridge by spinola creek is out, though it can be forded at depths of 3'.


6/23/2004
0

5/4/2004
0

9/15/2001
0

This stretch of trail is nothing less than spectacular. Friends that have done the whole distance of the PCT have later said it is the most beautiful stretch of the entire hike. The alpine lakes in this region are amazing. The wildflowers are beautiful, the wild blue berries are delicious, and the snow capped mountains you'll see are some of the best scenery you'd care to lay eyes on.



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Apr 2018