Section J Washington

Stevens Pass Southbound

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By: Jeff Erwin
June 25th, 2013

Hiked in from the ski area at Stevens Pass (Hwy 2) south to see how far I could get. Made it in about 2 miles before the snow made it tough to continue. The snow appeared at about 1.5 miles in, making finding the trail difficult in many places.

The trail is in great condition. It looks to have been recently maintained, several downed trees have been cleared. There is still one tree across the trail but easy to get around.

I plan to hike in again late July for an overnight, will report back.

August 28, 2012

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By: Linda Sheehan

We did the section from Snoq Pass to Stevens Pass from 8/20-8/23. It was in fine shape except for brush in a few places (above Waptus Lk)where I did take a spill! Lemah Crk was no problem to cross. The stream (can we please get a name for this one?)that pours out of Daniel was horendous to look at, but in the morning it was pretty easy to cross (we had a dog and waited until it dropped).

It got cold two nights, which helped for the bugs. Water was ok and plentiful in places but will be harder in a few weeks esp. from Lemah Crk to Waptus River. This section is so scenic, we were glad for the folks from out of town that they could see and appreciate the beauty of these mountains and the flowers.

Two friends tried the alternate rte. from Snow Lk through the Middle Fork Snoqualmie to Dutch Miller Gap. Absolutely not recommended. Trail in very poor shape, brushy and buggy.

August 13, 2012

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I hiked Washington section J during 8-13 Aug 2012, taking the Waptus River / Hyus Lake alternate route

I experienced no major problems. A few easily-crossed patches of snow the first ~15 miles north of Snoqualmie Pass. Some blowdown in places, but only a few that were somewhat difficult. Trail severely overgrown with brush in places, most notably coming down ridge before Walpus River – need to take care there not to slip off trail and down steep slope while avoiding brush.

August 6, 2012

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Snow/Ice covering certain parts of Chikamin Ridge; got through without crampons and ice picks, but wished we had them. These sections should soon melt, due to the high temperatures we encountered upon trip.

August 5, 2012

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I hiked from Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass from 7/29 to 8/4.

There are still some snow patches at higher elevations. There are still some steep snow patches near Chikamin Pass and above Spectacle Lake that I needed an ice axe to cut steps to get over safely.

A few overgrown areas, not many down trees.

I avoided the ford of the creek that drains the Mt Daniel glacier by hiking down to Cle Elem. A ranger I saw on the trail said that the ford was chest deep.

June 21, 2012

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We left Steven’s Pass to try to reach Snoqualmie on 6/20. About four feet of snow on the trail forced us to turn back. Bring gps/skis if you intend to hike this area anytime soon.

August 13, 2011

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Notes; 12 person (8 boys, 4 adults) Boy Scout troop out of Issaquah. GPS & gaiters highly advised as there are long sections under snow, most north slope/shadowed areas have snow, in some areas the snow was 10’+ ft deep. Plan on snow at elevations above 5000′. Lots of downed trees to scramble under/over from Stevens to almost Waptus Lk.

Day 1; Started at Stevens pass on 7 Aug, trail through far side of ski resort good, (down trees in resort) , lost trail in snow just beyond power lines, found trail intermittently on traverse to Lk Susan Jane, on climb up to junction with trail 1551 more patches snow. Spent night at Josephine Lk, mosquitoes bad, toilet needs maintenance (still usable), lake water temp cool

Day 2; Josephine Lk to Glacier Lk, left Josephine @ 0845, and back on PCT at 0930, was in snow with in 200yds, using GPS, found very short (1 – 100 yds) sections of trail exposed. At pass above Swimming Deer Lk caught up with British ROTC group that was turning back due to trail conditions and inadequate equipment. Snow on trail until Mig Lk. Trail stayed clear except a few spots above Trap Lk, those spots were really bad as they were in avalanche chutes that were hundreds of feet down and stopped in boulder fields. Arrived at 1800hrs, all were really tired, Glacier Lk still had ice floating in it, tent locations were small/scarce due to snow on all flat areas. Mosquitoes bad, very damp location… No toilet

Day 3; Glacier Lk to Hyas Lk (Bypassed Deception Pass to Cathedral Rock section due to resupply stop at Tucquala Meadows trailhead) Started on trail @ 0900, lots of snow once out of boulder fields and at base of Pieper pass climb, trail is spotty than just disappears part way up, had to scramble/bushwack for 2/3’s of the way up due to steep snow. Once on Pieper pass summit and down to Hyas Lk just patches to cross. Arrived Hyas Lk at 1600hrs. Used camp sites in mid lake, Mosquitoes OK, toilet in good condition

Day 4; Hyas Lk to resupply at Tucquala Meadows trailhead, than to Peggys Pond. Left Hyas at 0900, did resupply, started on Tr 1345 at 1100. Passed FS maintenance crew clearing downed trees part way up switch backs, they mentioned that most trails around Waptus Lk were cleared but the PCT into Snoqualmie still had lots of downed trees and snow crossings that needed ice axes and crampons. Did lunch at Squaw Lk, than continued on to Peggys Pond. The trail (Tr 1375) to Peggys Pond is really a Mt goat trail… If you follow the well-used trail you will most likely miss where you should start a uphill route going directly to Peggys. If you missed the “Y” and continue you’ll find yourself at a small pond. From the looks of the trail, most people think this is Peggys and turn around and head back, if you head uphill from this pond you will find Peggys Pond (really an sm lake), area was mostly covered in snow from lower pond to Peggys. Later in the night the wind really blew through and was clouded/cold/damp in in the morning. Figured out that as soon as we got out from between Mt Daniel and Cathedral Rock the clouds cleared… Mosquitoes OK, south toilet has been disassembled(?), found where it had been (holes filled in), a few boards now lean against nearby tree, north toilet usable

Day 5; Peggys Pond to Waptus Lk. Once back on PCT it was a now normal hike with some downed trees to cross. Had a stream fording near Deep Lk that went well, thought the mosquitoes were going to carry off our smallest scout… really bad… Turned off the PCT at Tr 1310.1, had a pleasant night at the south end of Waptus Lk, few mosquitoes, some flies that bite, toilet in good condition.