Here's the day-by-day story: A visit to Tapto Lakes and Whatcom Pass in North Cascades National Park has been on my wish list for a number of years. I lingered late into the morning, snapping photos and again drying my stuff. To my surprise, there was no water at all before Perry Creek Camp, 5.8 miles in. DAY FOUR: 11.5 miles, ~4800 ft gain Tapto Lakes is a massive area - much larger than I thought it would be. They had hiked all the way from Egg Lake to Whatcom Camp the previous day, and highly encouraged me to stick with the original plan. In the evening, a breeze periodically kept them away as sunset glowed Whatcom Peak pink and made Red Face Mountain that much redder. Not much for views at the camp or pass, but good views await on the sidetrips. Day 1: Hannagen trailhead to Copper Lake (11.5 miles, 4500'). To cap off the difficulties of the day, a mouse pestered me while I was eating, and a moth, attracted by the headlamp, flew literally INTO my eye. Hannegan Pass itself is not spectacular, and I did not bother with Hannegan Peak. I saved one for later. (please camp on bare ground, not the meadows!). I poked around, took photos, and read a book. Remote, high in the subalpine, and surrounded by rugged snowcapped peaks, the lakes have all the features of a classic backpacking destination. On one of the brushy sections, I got nailed badly by a what I later found out to be a stinging nettle bush. Tapto Lakes is one of those locations that many hikers dream about visiting. I quickly reached the Chilliwack ford thatI had been told (and re-assured me) about. The wide-open trail to Hannegan Pass and Hannegan Peak offers spectacular mountain views, glorious alpine wildflowers, waterfalls and glaciers. A good place to camp if you are able to make the steep, rugged, overgrown trail there. With wind storms overnight, I awoke to find everything (including the inside of my tent and myself) coated in half inch of dust/sand. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and North Cascades National Park, Washington. The next couple miles to Twin Rocks camp were fairly easy, and I stopped at that campsite (also empty) to ""drop some weight."" My first chore on day 2 (after the normal camp stuff), was to get back to the Little Beaver trail. Copper lake was beautiful, but very dusty. Whatcom Pass,Tapto Lakes,Chilliwack River,Copper Ridge. 8/14/07. Dinner was cooked and eaten by headlamp. All the outdoors entertaining stuff in the Northern Cascade Range will keep you coming back time and again. I hiked down the short trail to the boat dock. I wasn't even on the trail. It rises out of deep untouched forest valleys to jaw dropping views of rugged glacier clad peaks. Watch your step. Solo Survival: How to Survive Alone in the Wilderness for 1 week --Eastern Woodlands - Duration: 34:07. There were also several confusing re-routes where you had to follow ribbons tied to trees. I seriously considered cheating and camping at Copper Creek that night, leaving a shorter hike and climb to Silesia on Day 4 and perhaps a packless day-hike to the lookout on Day 5. Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking events, news, gear reviews and more. In a couple of the photos, you can see Whatcom and Challenger against that dark gray backdrop. The basin is shaped somewhat like an amphitheater, with the main show being the stupendous views of … The lakes are a great spot to meander around. Tapto Lakes sit in a basin about 800′ above Whatcom Pass. Washington Trails Association It was my most relaxing and pleasant evening of camping on the trip, even without any staggering views. The basin contains on large lake and several smaller lakes set in a heather filled subalpine meadow. 705 2nd Ave, Suite 300 They told me that they never made it to the upper section of the Little Beaver trail this year, which explained the difficulties of the previous day. Lakes Lakes Newhalem u s Wilderness Information Center Goode TES s ( … The average John Mason is around 64 years of age with around 42% falling in to the age group of 41-60. The trail first climbes up some switchbacks to that great view back up Ross Lake at Jack Mountain. There are many opportunities to explore the lakes and to take in views of the rugged North Cascade peaks across the lakes. Then, things got VERY intersting. Great wildlife on this route. But that bridge was washed out (in 2003? First, I tried to find the old trail. This report recounts one of the great challenges and experiences of my life, a 5-day 50-mile one-way solo trek across North Cascades National Park. I hit the nicely-graded switchbacks through pleasant forest, resting for appropriate lengths are appropriate intervals, and drinking the electrolite-replacing lemonade that the guy had given me at Tapto. I camped in the same exact spot my dad and I had camped in the rain in 1998 -- my first ever night spent in the Washington wilderness. The image of all those bright red salmon in the pristine waters, deep in the wilderness just pulled me back, that and the lure of making it to Tapto Lakes, above Whatcom Pass. I made my way down and back up to Silesia Camp, sitting on a knob along the ridge with views to everywhere. The trail is relatively flat and brushed to Copper Creek Camp, where it picks up the last few thousand feet to the junction with Copper Ridge Trail. A visit to Tapto Lakes and Whatcom Pass in North Cascades National Park has been on my wish list for a number of years. There's actually a second crossing, as the river is forked. Hands are needed in a few spots. I am a new member, cant figure out how to edit/add text after I have already submitted the photo. Day 2: Copper Lake to Whatcom Camp (16.5 miles, 4500'). As I made the annoying little climb out of the Tapto basin, with the toughness and nausea of the previous day still fresh in my mind, I thought ahead to Day 4. Tapto Lakes is one of the lakes here in the Northern Cascade Range. So much easier, so long as you have sufficient fuel. When my boot got completely sucked in at one point, I said forget that idea. She said a smattering, but not many. Unless of course you like brush-bashing. The cable car is a special treat, though requires a deal of arm muscle to manuever. The rock slopes up the arm are very stable and snow fields are easy to navigate around. Trip down to the Chilliwack River is steep, but in decent condition until the flatlands at the bottom where the brush begins. The trail to Tapto Lakes starts at Whatcom Pass. The next day we headed back down to the Chilliwack valley, through the clouds. They were right, that section was fine, and I quickly reached my campsite for the night at Indian Creek after crossing an awesome suspension bridge. Remote, high in the subalpine, and surrounded by rugged snowcapped peaks, the lakes have all the attributes of a classic backpacking destination. Finally some sun (which disappeared 5 minutes later) The climb up from Indian Camp to Copper Lake takes forever. This was a great hike featuring all the northwest has to offer: high ridges with great views, deep river valleys, alpine meadows and lakes, and old growth forest. There are 4 lakes here and honestly enough room for 10-15 tents and it wouldn't feel crowded. As an early-morning day hike, this trail would be terrific, but at this point I just desperately wanted shade. I'm not sure why they did this rather than melt snow from a nearby snow patch, which I did. In the heart of the park, Whatcom Pass is quintessential North Cascades wilderness. I had the time, so I spent an hour there gazing around, munching on trail mix, and chatting with the nice park ranger girl who was manning -- or wo-manning? The creeks shown on the map to be crossing the trail before then were dried up. If you can snag it, try getting a reservation for Graybeal Camp, 2.1 miles in from the Brush Creek Trail junction. I crossed part of the river, fought through some brush, and crossed the other half on one of the many giant trees fallen across and around the river. The only way to find the trail was to look straight down. DAY ONE: 12 miles, 900 ft elevation gain Unless you're a hiker -- really, a backpacker -- it's tough to sample the Park's glories. They hike to Tapto Lakes for views of Whatcom Peak and the glaciers above the pass. I was more and more anxious about making the campsite before dark, which made me hurry more and tire me out, which made me more nervous, etc. Top Adventures in Tapto Lakes Hike to Terror Basin and Climb West McMillan Spire The Picket Range is a remote and rugged subrange of Washington's North Cascades. After leaving Bear Creek Camp and retracing my route west along the Chilliwack river, I continued past the previous day's junction to the Brush Creek trail, which heads 2500 feet up to Whatcom Pass. If you've ever been at a high campsite on such a morning, you know how amazing this is. It was a relatively clean snowpatch too. There was a buggy camp just below the pass where I spent the next night. The advantage of the openness is awesome views of the cliffs and waterfalls above the valley and the mountains at its head. This whole idea was incredibly stupid, especially considering I was hiking solo and NO ONE was around for miles. Keep an eye out for bears in this area as they are frequently seen on or near the river. The river has two beautiful fords and begins a long, easy ramble through old growth forests up to the junction with brush creek trail. Tapto lakes is a must see, must do and allow several hours to enjoy! They said the trail up to Copper Ridge from Indian Creek really wasn't so bad, nothing like the Little Beaver, and that the entire length of the ridge should be hiked and not missed. ;) Soon after Twin Rocks, the trail passes right next to a nice gravelly beach on the Little Beaver, with views up to a couple huge cascades coming down the opposite side of the valley. Indeed, I had almost complately made up my mind to do this when I ran into a pair of young couples at Whatcom Pass. Tapto Lakes is one of those locations that many hikers dream about visiting. Our tax identification number is EIN 91-0900134. I had a relatively short day of hiking ahead of me anyway, so I hung out there for quite a while hoping my stuff would dry. I chatted with them, and turns out they and a couple other buddies were camping at Tapto lakes as well. Contributions to WTA are tax deductible, and we are committed to making the best use of every donation to our mission. The Brush Creek, ironically, turned out to be the least brushy of all the trails on the trip (save, I suppose, the high-traffic Hannegan Pass trail). I wolfed down dinner and watched the sun set over Shuksan, Baker, Icy, Mineral, Whatcom, Challenger, bla bla bla... One part is all quick, short switchbacks on narrow tread in steep scree. Brush creek trail is flat to Graybeal, where it climbs 3 miles to Whatcom Camp/Pass. : not sure 8-10 ft Will the antenna be installed outside above the roof line, in the attic, etc...? Ridge after copper lake was very scenic and the waterfall and large boulder fields make the uphill less daunting. Whatcom Pass and Tapto Lakes. On the plus side, there were views over the brush to the head of the valley, Challenger and Whatcom, and waterfalls waterfalls everyhwere. Each year I thought to myself that this was the year I’d make a go of it but never did. North Cascades National Park. Stilwell Camp is on the opposite side of the Little Beaver as the Little Beaver trail, which I needed to take to Whatcom Pass and Tapto Lakes, my destination for the day. The pictures can't really do justice to the experience of being on high mountains above clouds. -- I was stuck. My regular backpacking partner hates the “rigidity” of NPS backpacking and also had knee surgery. I'm very thankful I ran into them, because they turned out to be exactly right. I had just enough light to quickly set up the tent and set up a rope to hang the food. Challenger reflected in Tapto Lake. I just wanted to get out of the sun. Trail stats: 3 days hiking and one rest day for Copper Ridge loop and side trip to Whatcom Pass. This view of the Tapto Lakes reminded us of Banner and Ritter above Thousand Island Lake in the Sierras. As I was warned, no water right there. I also got stung a few more times by stinging nettles. After a tiring slog up to Whatcom Pass we found the 'trail' to Tapto Lakes. Finally, I was almost at the pass, and I looked up, and suddenly, behold, there were two PEOPLE looking at me. You simply open the image from your own gallery. After the trail finally dropped off the ridge crest, the flies got bad, and would only get worse after topping Hannegan Pass. -- the lookout. Tapto Lakes is one of those locations that many hikers dream about visiting. Join us for five days of backpacking in North Cascades, a vast and rugged wilderness in northwest Washington State. The 2020 Northwest Exposure Photo Contest proved that in a difficult year, sometimes a bit of familiarity and joy is just what's needed. Much wandering and great views of Whatcom/Challenger/various ridges to the west. Washington Trails Association is 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Whatcom arm is easily ""doable"" to the average hiker and can be followed to within several hundred feet of the summit by adventerous old goats (about a mile and 1000+ feet) But the views are somewhat minimal (only the very peaks of prominent mountains are seen) due to the massive size of Challenger and Easy Ridge. After that, the sun started moving quickly and the brush grew thicker. The trail enters one of the most massive fields of brush I have ever seen, and I mean ENTERS it. The trail up is actually steeper and more of a true climbers path than Whatcom arm, but is short to the ridge (1 mile, 1000 feet). Tapto Lakes sit in a … At the ridge, five teal-blue pools and meadows await those who are brave enough to bear skin. There are not many options for camping--either a few rocks suitable to small tents or one campsite where the poor flowers and heather have been tramped to death. Day 3: Rest day--side trips to the pass, Whatcom arm, and Tapto lakes. Originally (and when we were there in 1998), there was a bridge across the Little Beaver right at Stilwell. She astutely observed the obvious reason -- access. Copper Lake The lakes are only about 600 feet higher than the pass, but the trail climbs about 900 to get up and over a ridge and then drops down to the lakes, which were as gorgeous as promised. Then it's up the valley. I hit the trail a little before 8am (early for me). The climb up to Tapto Lakes from Whatcom Pass is even steeper, as it's really just a rough boot path. I asked her if she sees many people from outside the NW. Washington Trails Association I wasn't sure if I could do this trip, or what would happen, but I had done it, and it was amazing. As I figured, once the trail starts really climbing it leaves the brush behind, but it gets rather steep. Day Three began with partly cloudy skies and wonderful reflections off the still waters of the lakes. Buoy Lake. I slowly headed down, snapping photos left and right as I descended. Although it was a bright, sunny day, I could not keep my shades on, because then I couldn't see the ground well enough under the brush to see where I was going. Whatcom Peak and Mt. They were the first humans I'd seen since starting the hike. But the second crossing can be done fairly easily on a fallen tree a little bit upstream, no bushwhacking required. We climbed up to a knoll below the mighty Red Face Mountain that dominates the western views from the lakes. The upshot of all this is that if I took the bridge, I had to backtrack a mile down the Little Beaver, adding a total of 2 miles to my trip. A nice guy gave me a ride on his truck down the dirt road at the bottom. What a feeling. Ejnar Fjerdingstad - Sep 11, 2007 7:43 am - Voted 10/10 Re: Tapto Lake. The cold but not icy water reached up to mid-calf on my 5' 8"" frame. The contest judges had an amazing (and difficult) time going through all 8,000 photos entered in the contest to narrow it down to 16 winners (made all the more challenging by doing it by video call) but narrow it down they did. Amazing views of Whatcom Peak and Mount Challenger. At the ridge, five teal-blue pools and meadows await those who are brave enough to bear skin. And I had no idea how far the trail was. Seattle, WA 98104. I stopped there for a while, filtering and snacking. The first days hike took us up to Hannegan Pass and then, entering the North Cascades National Park, up to Selesia Camp on Copper Ridge. August 17-26, 2014. Choose to hike to 5050 foot Hannegan Pass (about 8 miles roundtrip) or press on to the 6200 foot summit of Hannegan Peak -- 10.6 miles roundtrip. I gave up, not wanting to have another anxious day. Fortunately, it was cold enough to keep my pant legs and fleece on, because, damn, the mosquitos were horrible. (This was my second time, the other being on the Twin Lakes trail (Monte Christo) 2 years ago.) The Tapto Lakes Basin is absolutely sublime. Next, I tried dropping straight to the river from the campsite. A few camps are found on the arm just above the pass, though no better than at Whatcom camp. Made the out-and-back trek to Tapto Lakes via Hannegan Pass over three days. For the first time in my life, I hiked with earphones on to take my mind off the slog and let the time pass more quickly as I put my head down and hurried down the trail. Tapto Lake. 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