Backpacking Washington's Alpine Lakes Wilderness
by Jeff Smoot (Falcon Guides)
© Jeff Smoot/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.
We did this trail, 2 adults and 3 girl scouts, beginning at Deception Pass Trailhead and ending at the Cathedral Pass Trailhead as a trip for beginning backpackers. The first day we hiked up to Deception Pass and camped in some spots just off the trail where we met up with the PCT. The hike was easy, even with some elevation gain, we made great time. There was a lovely lake there that provided a good water source as well as a nice place to relax. The second day was more of a challenge. The ford at Daniels Creek was not bad due to last year's dry winter and it being later on in the season. The climb to Cathedral Pass was tough, but beautiful. We camped that night at Squaw Lake and hiked out in the morning. There were TONS of blueberries along Deception Pass trail.
We did the loop in reverse (Tudquala Trailhead to Cathedral Rock to Deception Pass to Hyas Lake) as a 2-night backpacking trip with 8 Boy Scouts and 2 adults. Trail conditions were excellent.
Our plan was to camp the first night at Pegy's Pond. We turned back about 0.5 mi toward the pond on the unmaintained trail: it was too difficult for 13-15 year-old boys with full backpacks. Instead we camped in the meadow below Cathedral Rock (intersection of Cathedral Rock trail and PCT).
The river crossing the second day between Cathedral Rock and Deception Pass wasn't particularly difficult, but would have been a little challenging earlier in the season when the water-flow was higher.
We camped the second night at Little Hyas Lake and hiked out the following morning.
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