Back Two Backpacking

After a recent series of hikes, it feels about time for another post. We’ve been doing some “fun” backpacking trips lately, also known as hiking in, camping, and hanging out, rather than pushing all day until night falls and unpacking in the dark. There’s a time and a place for long grueling backpacking trips, and the past few weeks were not the time. We also did a great hike with some friends last weekend, which I’ve combined into this one big post covering the end of August and early September!

Summit Lake

Our first trip, a few weeks back now, was to head south towards the border of MRNP, and camp at Summit Lake. The trailhead lies more than six miles up and into the mountains at the end of a somewhat rough forest service road, though the rangers assured us it was ‘far from the worst’. Since dogs seem to be banned from campgrounds in the NP Summit Lake drew a lot of dog owners hiking in for the night.  We made a relatively quick ascent, heard there was a sweet overlook campsite, and bee-lined for that.

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The rest of the day was spent taking in the views of Mt Rainier, and hanging out at Summit Lake proper, lounging until a dinner of re-hydrated food. Mmmm. The evening and morning lighting made for even better photos.

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In the morning we packed up, headed out and got a great breakfast nearby in an old Saloon.

Olallie and Talupus Lakes

The following weekend was labor day weekend, and after plans for a larger three day surfing trip fell through, we opted for another fun, easy backpacking trip, this time near Snoqualmie Pass. The forest road up was much smoother and the lake views were great, especially with some weather patterns moving through creating interesting clouds. Dylan joined us as well for the relaxing afternoon in the lake basins.

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The morning fog rising off the lake was a nice treat. On our way back, we stopped at the Falls, since Dylan hadn’t been.

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Heliotrope Ridge

Our friend Ian suggested we do a hike together, and because of his love for glaciers, opted for Heliotrope Ridge. After staring at topos all last winter, reading TRs and debating when the best time to ski it was, it was awesome to finally make a trip up from the valley that’s one of Mt. Baker’s main melt outflows. Ian, Tanya, their daughter Lily, Catherine and I all met at the trailhead and started up. It was a gorgeous day for hiking and sightseeing.

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All in all an awesome day! Ian was a champ carried a sleeping Lily both up and down the trail. The trail itself was more taxing than one would’ve expected, moderately gaining elevation throughout, and included several fun creek crossings. I can’t wait to head back this winter. The trailhead is also the starting point for one of the main climbing routes, so we encountered more than a few mountaineers making for the summit.

 

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