Alpine Lakes Wilderness v3

Alpine Lakes

A few interconnected trails in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area.

Island & Rainbow Lakes & Granite Mountain
Distance: 27 miles
Elevation Gain: 6190 Feet
Date: July 6-7, 2014
Hikers: Harpo & Groucho
Duration: 2 day backpack – 12 miles out, 15 miles back

Groucho sez –

Harpo & I are continuing our exploration of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, which is about as close to Seattle as wilderness gets. This time we decided to push further and grab a couple of peaks while we were at it. Arriving Sunday afternoon we got started late – about 3 pm – and headed up into the wilderness area, taking the trail towards Island and Rainbow Lakes with the goal of camping at Thompson Lake. Taking the Mt Defiance Trail and descending, we got about 2.5 miles from Thompson Lake before the trail on the north side of Mount Defiance was too snowy to proceed safely. We turned back, summiting Mt Defiance before camping just south of Mason Lake. In the morning we decided to climb Granite Mountain on our way back to the car – getting about .25 miles beneath the lookout at the summit before we were stopped again by wet, slushy snow. The wildflowers – like beargrass & spreading phlox – were out in force, and water was plentiful. Overall a lovely couple days of walking…

Island Lake

There were small patches of snow, and a fleet of mosquitoes at Island Lake

Rainbow Lake

A serene surface and crystal clear water at Rainbow Lake

Mount Defiance

Sunbeams on a distant horizon – Mt Defiance trail #1009

Mount Defiance

Panorama from the summit of Mount Definance.

spreading phlox

Saw these Spreading Phlox all over the mountain.

bear grass

Wild beargrass was blooming all up the trail to the Granite Mountain summit.

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