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Truly a peaceful hike. There were lots of small waterfalls, beautiful clearings in amongst the rocks, lovely wildflowers, and picturesque lakes. Hiked in August and had no problems at all, except the mosquitoes; definitely bring bug spray.

This hike is a pleasant workout. I started the hike from the Alpental parking lot, not from the recommended trailhead on this map, because it would save me an hour of driving. I logged 20 miles on this hike, but I also did a little extra exploring.

This one is on my list for backpacking. Two super enthusiastic thumbs up. Happy hiking!

Beautiful!

backpacking
18 days ago

We hiked and stayed the night at Spectacle Lake 7/28 - 7/29. Overall the hike was 10 miles one way and took us 4 hours to get to the lake.

The first 4.4 miles to Pete Lake was very easy with minimal elevation gain. We encountered a lot of mosquitos on this part of the hike.

The next 1.3 miles from Pete Lake to the Lemah Creek crossing was also pretty flat. The creek was about knee deep and wasn’t that hard to cross this time of year. The alternative, if the creek can’t be forded, is a 1.9 mile detour up Lemah Meadow Trail to the PCT.

From the creek, it’s about 0.7 miles to the PCT. Once on the PCT, it’s about 2.7 miles to the Spectacle Lake trail. This is where most of the elevation gain happens. The trail switchbacks up a burnt forest to the Spectacle Lake trail. From there, it is another 0.8 miles downhill to the lake. Most of the campsites are on the peninsula, there are also some campsites on the east side of the lake.

Went with my brother 7/25-7/26. This was my first hike. The trails were beautiful, and, as many have posted, full of mosquitos. Lots of switchbacks to climb up to the lake, but the waterfall and Spectacle Lake were amazing. Lots of friendly people on the trail. We leisurely made it from the trailhead to Spectacle Lake in about six hours (where we camped for the evening), and we spent about four and a half to get back the next day.

Lots of time in the woods. Lake is beautiful. Bring bug spray!

backpacking
28 days ago

My wife and I took our first backpacking trip of the year up to Spectacle Lake. We hiked in from the parking lot to past Pete Lake to the river crossing - roughly 6 miles. We arrived at 3:30 and landed roughly 3 hours later. We hiked with 100# dog and 20-25# packs. High temps between 80-90 degrees in the day.

River seemed a little cold on arrival so we didn’t care to cross at 6:30 not knowing what lies on the other side.
Set up at a nice little camp spot right by the river though. Mosquitos pretty tough even with spray.

Woke up and encountered several crossers at the river by 9-9:30. We packed up and left to Spectacle. River wasn’t bad at just below knee height with a dog saw people of all ages (12-55) crossing fine. My dog did well as he is tall, another couple with a small 20# dog went down river a little and there dog was fine as well. Definitely recommend water shoes to change into for crossing.

We were warned that it may be too hot with a dog in the exposed area of the climb to Spectacle Lake but decided against the heed to our relief.

There is a nice pretty well covered area for the first 45 min until you become more exposed with burn out sections. By 10:30 even at 75 degrees sun exposure not bad. If anybody fared well it was the dog. New growth on the mountain leaves a 3-4’ canopy on the trail in which the dog spent most of the exposed hike in. The hike through the exposed section consists of an hour or so of switch backs but some less gradual. There are many small streams all along the hike up the mountain.. to a dogs delight or drinks or a good dousing:)

Lots of wild flowers. Greenery and beautiful back drop even with torched trees from a decade ago. There is a wonderful bridged waterfall after driving through the switch backs which is a nice place to chill. There are 3 + areas were you have small stream crossings with no bridge.. But doable for all creatures. Mosquitoes once again can become a nuisance if your not prepared. Bring a facial net as a preference as seen with many hikers (we didn’t bring any but wished we had.)

After nearing the top the canopy of trees once again shades you more. After cresting and viewing small glimpses of the lake there is a sharp drop down if you travel to the SE side of the lake. Once your down around the lake there are access trails all around. The lake mostly surrounded by rock so pick your access wisely if you want to get in.

We jumped in on the SE side with a little beach access. Water was great! A little cold but definitely swimmable after a hike on a hot day. The lake is split up into sections south east side has one smaller section in the larger side to the northwest. There is lots of rock and land in between to travel between the two sections. Beautiful back drop to the West mountains with several cascading waterfalls and snowcapped mountains. We were to the lake roughly 3 hours after breaking camp at the river. We didn’t camp there but noticed several nice camping spots on rock or grass overlooking the lake.

We left to hike back down at around 1:30.-2:00 it was warm close to 90. There are many trails around the leak so it’s easy to get lost if you don’t know which way you came in haha. Hike was warmer in the afternoon but nothing crazy. We crossed the river again and cooked food at the river. We left our tent and some stuff by the river and packed it all ip.. headed back out past Peat Lake to the Parking lot... about 6 miles. Beautiful walk and beautiful hike out as it was in. Well covered with trees not really exposed.... except more mosquitos... once again bring your face net and spray. They were super bad on the way out.... elevation and moisture make a difference but yea. The hike, the lake, the river, the camping and the scenery were all great. Highly recommend for a 2 full day trip.... we made it to the car by 9 pm but hiked 16 miles and went to the lake all in one day! I’ll be back:)

backpacking
1 month ago

A tough at times hike but absolutely worth it. Drive to trailhead is along a one-lane dirt road going into the mountains, nothing too scary but be ready to pullover for traffic. Beginning of hike is fairly flat and easy, but after a few hours you'll get into some steep elevation gains. Nothing hairy, just exhausting, especially if you're bringing a fully loaded pack. When you get to towards the first basin it may be incredibly buggy, bring some spray. Great views of the glacial mountains along the way. Once you get to Royal Lake you'll be tempted to chill or swim in the beautiful blue water, but if you've got the energy definitely continue on to the to upper basin. By the end you'll have seen some beautiful meadows and another stunning glacial lake surrounded by snowy mountains.

If camping, the lake campsites looked nice, but there's a number of sites. If looking for something more private, consider the Lower Royal Meadow sites, there were only 2 that I saw. You're right next to the creek so easy to filter water. Was really buggy, but I don't think you can get away from that anywhere. Quite chilly at night as well.

backpacking
1 month ago

Hiked and stayed at spectacle like 7/9-7/10. Snow free the whole way. The hike itself is not hard if you’re in shape, but it is definitely long. My gps tracked 12.2 miles one way. Get ready to cross frigid lemah creek. You will definitely need to remove your boots/ shoes since it’s about knee deep and painfully cold (I am 6’2). The lakes are both spectacular. I brought an inner tube and floated around the whole inside section of spectacle lake. The water was the perfect temperature on a hot day. Keep your eyes peeled for wild life. We spotted a deer and what potentially could have been a cougar stalking it in the evening. All that was visible were eyes so have bear spray handy when that deep in the backcountry.

backpacking
1 month ago

This hike is actually 22 miles round trip but has some stunning views. It's 4 miles to Pete lake which is beautiful and then 7 more to Spectacle lake. There's still a lot of snow near the end of the hike but it is doable with just hiking boots. The temperatures at the lake dropped much lower than we were expecting so if you plan to camp up there, be prepared! The bridge about 2 miles from the lake is also out so you may have to go downstream a bit and wade across.

We got lost several times due to the lack of signage so make sure you have your AllTrails location on so you can direct yourself around and keep track of how far you have gone.

backpacking
5 months ago

Royal Basin is the finest alpine area in the Dungeness watershed.Streams cross the trail regularly.In the southeast corner of the basin it's not to difficult to gain the top of Royal ridge.The view over the basin is magnificent.I like to drop in to Milk Creek and go over to the other side of Milk Creek basin,over to an magnificent viewpoint for Warrior,Mt.Con stance and Inner Constance.Some steep snow often.

hiking
7 months ago

Did this as a day hike with a buddy. Other than me being a dumb dumb with new inserts it was a great trip. It was kind of chilly and windy so bugs were at a minimum. Stopped at the lower camp and was roomy as far as places to park gear but was hard to find water and good camp things. Upper camp much better for finding things like that and camping spots were pretty big and seemed to be enough. I would pay to stay up there. Didn’t make it to the lake at the top but that was my own fault. Early September

on Royal Basin Trail

hiking
10 months ago

The trail is in good condition with only two trees to climb over. Mostly dry rift now.

hiking
10 months ago

We did this hike as a day trip from Seattle. Lots of driving but completely worth it. The drive is very straightforward, with good signage on the FS roads. We arrived at the trailhead at about 830 and were surprised to see 20-30 cars already there. It turns out most were not headed up to Royal Basin, we didn't see many people on the trail.

The hike itself is wonderful. It starts out in a dense forest, gradually ascending next to a mountain stream. The forest is thickly carpeted in a layer of moss. After a few miles, the moss fades as you enter more of an alpine forest, through a few meadows and with the occasional view of the valley ahead. The trail continues through this picturesque alpine forest and eventually hits the Royal Lake, a great spot for a break. There were a few birds in the area aggressively trying to steal our snacks, literally attempting to grab them out of our hands. Once past the lake, there's another beautiful meadow and a short trail to the ranger station, which is a platform with a backpacking tent setup on it. Definitely head down this detour - shortly past the ranger station is a great waterfall to explore. Back on the main trail, it's a quick hike up through more meadows and into some rocky terrain to the basin, which was our lunch spot. If you make it to the lake, don't stop there, the basin is totally worth the short extra hike. We stayed there for a while, ate lunch, and headed all the way back down. Much of the trail is criss-crossed by numerous animal trails. We saw a bunch of deer, a couple crossed the trail very close to us. They were surprisingly comfortable coexisting with humans. It didn't seem like they were looking for food, they simply trusted that we weren't a threat in any way, which was a very cool experience.

Overall, the hike is a gradual to moderately steep incline throughout. Nothing too tough. According to the Green Trails Map, round trip to the basin is 8.6 miles each way for a total round trip of 17.2. Including about an hour for lunch and frequent water breaks, the total hike time for us was about 9 hrs. If you're thinking about doing this in a single day (definitely doable) during the late summer/early fall time frame, I would recommend leaving the trailhead no later than 9 am to allow plenty of hiking time and enough daylight to complete the hike safely.

This hike started at Trout Lake, Wa, PCT mile 2226, for a 66 mile - 6.5 day hike to White Pass, Wa from 9-3-17 to 9-9-17. Trout Lake temp forecasted for 101. We left early and missed most of the heat and while hot, had cool offshore breeze all day. Elevation gain steady all day. Arrived at camp at 5pm, mile 2238. All set up and done by 7:45. In tent at 7:45pm

Day 2, PCT Mile 2238-2251. up at 5 AM, breakfast pack up by 7:20 AM. Hotter than yesterday and very smokey from Cascade Locks Fire. Had to hike with buff over face to breath better. Crossed wide fast flowing creek. Long gradual decent to lava springs. Lunch. Up to camp after seasonal spring mile 2251. .13.3 miles today. Dinner with neighbors. Bed at 8pm

Day 3, PCT Mile 2251-2262. Up at 6am. Set alarms for 5am then 5:30am and got up at 6am. We needed the extra morning sleep. Breakfast, packed up and got more water for the morning hike. Steep up til lunch and hotter than yesterday. Down til last water for 10 miles and level to camp at Walupt Lake trail jct. Camp at mile 2262. 7:20pm.

Day 4, PCT Mile 2262-2272. Up hill all day and all day and all day through Cispus Pass! Beautiful even with all the smoke from local fires! Refilled with water at Cispus River. Got extra cooking water that another small seasonal stream. Wanted to camp close to Cispus Basin. Had to push on up another mile to a wonderful camp at 2272.1. Had dinner with two Northbounders. Got to bed late by 830.

Day 5, PCT Mile 2272-2279. (NOTE: I forgot to start track until PCT-Old Snowy Jct. Adding another 1043ft to elevation. Total Elevation is 1765ft. Total elevation gain is not known for this section) Northbounders are gone first thing. Took my time. Decided my plan for the day was go to McCall Basin. Up up up all the way to the junction of PCT an old snowy. Talked to northbounder who was now southbounding. She skipped Oregon and South bounded Washington to avoid fires. She was coming to grips that this may be her last leg due to fires. I stayed here for over an hour. Had cell service contacted Friends and Family. Texted other family on The Knife. Got water on the other side. Found camp at mile 2279, half-mile before McCall basin. In tent by 730 because of the cold and the wind. Cooler tonight. I put the fly on tonight. Could rain.

Day 6, PCT Mile 2279-2287. Chilly night but not bad. Up late. Breakfast and coffe, packed up and left at 9:30am. Getting ride for a Saturday pickup. Planning on staying at campsite after Shoe Pass. Trail is downhill to Lutz Lake. Got almost 2 liters of water. Hard to filter. Lake questionable. Saw the kids (a couple we've been leapfrogging all week, dubbed them "The Kids") at Lutz. Down and level till after campsite. Up up up til Hidden Springs jct. took break. The kids arrived about 10 min later. Up til Shoe Lake jct and right to Shoe Lake. Got water and lunch. Up and up til Shoe Lake Pass. The kids arrived about 5 min later. :) Walked over the Pass to campsite CS2287. Passed it since my apps couldn't agree. Came back and the kids had the spot I wanted. I took a more exposed site but really good if it doesn't rain. :) In tent by 5pm. Cool and windy after sun went below ridge behind us. Made coffee and dinner. Let kids borrow my stove. Twice. They had fuel. Contacted all the family. Time now is 8:06pm. Almost time for bed. Cold and blowing all night. Tent caved in from all sides all night. High winds. Kids helped me pack up in the morning...very windy! No breakfast up here. 5 miles till White Pass. No track for this 5 miles (phone battery low). Took my time. Arrived at Trailhead at 10:55...right on time. Wonderful trip and beautiful despite all the smoke. An awesome experience. Next year...I'll shoot for over 100 miles in one hike. :)

backpacking
Wednesday, August 09, 2017

tough hiking because it's long
but so worth it

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

This is a good family hike. Well marked and there were volunteers out clearing the trail. Best to wear hiking boots. Lots of mosquitos and horse flys so bring bug spray.

backpacking
Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Actually over 35km. Really nice hike, we saw WTA working and horses. Flys were kinda bad on the trail, but the hike was really easy until the last couple miles. Switch backs were really well done with minimal fallen trees.

Beautiful views though, and some of the cleanest water I've EVER seen. I got stung twice for the first time in 8 years. Definitely would do again soon.

backpacking
Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Great hike. It's 11 miles from the Pete lake trailhead into Spectacle Lake but not overly difficult because of minimal elevation gain compared to most of our hikes. We both had "heavy" packs on and did fine, but we are avid hikers/backpackers. A cold and swift Lemah creek water crossing and fallen trees blocking parts of the pct were the only obstacles but both doable and fun. Bugs were annoying and plentiful but expected. Go in with lots of bug spray and plan on using it frequently. Had minimal backpacking "neighbors" on our first night at the lake but they were coming in like hoards on night two. We definitely prefer less company but that's life and with a beautiful lake and amazing views... we were just happy to be outside enjoying the perfectly hot temps and blue skies.

It's a long hike and tends to be too popular for our taste but if you love high mountain lakes, do it.

hiking
Saturday, July 01, 2017

Beautiful hike along the river. We did not go all the way to the basin today but enjoyed what we saw

backpacking
Monday, June 05, 2017

Hiked end of May 2017. Snow around 4000ft. Royal lake snowed in. Hiked up to the ridge between Mt. Deception and Mt. Fricaba (bring crampons and ice axe).

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

One of my all time favorites!

hiking
Sunday, October 02, 2016

Great hike, awesome mountain views of Lemah, Chikamins, and three queens. Camping on the peninsula offers plentiful access to water and amazing views.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Easy going for six miles .... After that, u are on ur own.. Non- maintained to both lakes. If going to joe lake , bring a machete and survey tape... Be prepared to get wet… Several river and creek crossings ( with the worst footing ever)! If by some miracle you do not get wet crossing the rivers, the west Side of the valley has a tendency to stay very wet due to the lack of sunlight…if your heart is really set on seeing Alaska lake or Joe lake, I would suggest taking the PCT route through Kindle katwalk. Forget 13 miles (at least16)! Forget easy to moderate! (Don't bring ur inexperienced visitors from out of state )! If u plan to do this u better take your adventure pills. Highly recommend for those looking for solitude and exploration. Fresh water is abundant for most of the hike. Even during the dry season. Enjoy and be safe. Remember, this is not the easy gold creek loop that I'm talking about. Don't bring the kids! Not family hike .... u have been warned .

This was a 27 mile southbound hike of the PCT from White Pass, to the Snowgrass Trailhead in the Goat Rocks. It was 2.5 days and over the Labor Day weekend from 9-3-16 to 9-5-16. I was shuttled to and from both locations which made the point-to-point hike possible.

Day 1: White Pass to Lutz Lake
Day 2: Lutz Lake to Snowgrass Flats
Day 3. Snowgrass Flats to Snowgrass Trailhead #96.

9-3-16
I started hiking at 9:15am and stopped for a snack at Shoe Lake at around 1:30pm. I had 3 camping options, Shoe Lake, Hidden Springs and Tieton Pass. I found camping is restricted at Shoe Lake. I guess I didn’t do my research completely. However, it was too early in the day for that anyway. I tried hiking to Shoe Lake a couple years before but was stopped by snow and was glad to see the trail to Shoe Lake was clear.

I arrived at Hidden Springs, my second camping option shortly after leaving Shoe Lake, too early for camping so I skipped the .3 miles to check it out. Tieton Pass, was touted by hikers heading northbound as being open with camping but I found just the opposite. While being somewhat open, there is kind of a suitable flatter spot that could be used in a pinch if arriving at dusk or later. Since this wasn’t what I expected, I headed further south toward Lutz Lake hoping to find a spot.

I arrived at Lutz Lake, not one of my camping options, knowing from northbound hikers it was already crowded. I got there at 4:30pm to find a group of 4 with 3 tents setup and flat spots for two more tents. They offered me a spot next to them and I took it without hesitation. A section-hiker took the spot next to me. It was interesting and fun to share tent sites with 5 other people. I was fortunate to have this space. Lutz Lake is small and shallow and as near as I can tell a stagnant pool of water. It was hard to tell if it was flowing or not.

9-4-16
I left Lutz Lake at 8:35am the next morning but needed to get water at the lake. I clogged my Sawyer Mini and blew out the provided bladder at the neck trying to filter that water. I was able to get some water before the blowout and saw there were possible water options before The Knife which was my main concern, so I pressed on. There are more tent sites along the PCT after Lutz Lake within a mile of the lake. Good to know for next time

The accent from Lutz Lake to Elk Pass is a beautiful one indeed, especially hiking above timberline. I have never seen that side of the Goat Rock Wilderness and took many pictures. I found a water source halfway to Elk Pass and taped up my bladder well enough to fill my water reservoir. The meadows above that were breathtaking as were the views. You can’t go wrong.

Elk Pass was what I expected. Barren of tall vegetation, slightly windy and beautiful. It was clear there but you could tell the clouds were coming in and I was hoping The Knife would be clear. And it was for the most part. Wisps of clouds (fog really) were coming from west to east over The Knife but things were still visible. Around the 7000 ft. level the clouds came in thick and we were hiking The Knife in clouds (fog), white on both sides with nothing to see. The last 400 ft up to the junction of Old Snowy was one of the steepest sections I’ve hike in a while. Slow going but well worth it. As I was nearing the top and it was leveling out, there was a group of 6 hikers cooking lunch and having a wonderful time. I sat next to them and had a snack myself.

My camping destination was Snowgrass Flats and after lunch made my way in the fog down the PCT. The more I descended, the clearer it became and by the time I got to the junction of the PCT and Snowgrass trail #96, I removed all my warmer layers, took off my pant legs and found a tent site in warm sunny weather.

9-5-16
I woke up the next morning to frost on my tent fly since my tent was in the shade of large trees. The sun was out and I moved the tent and all my gear into the sun to thaw out. The morning was beautiful with warmer clear weather. A stark contrast to yesterday morning. I packed up and left by 10:20am to meet my ride at the trailhead at noon.

The weather for this hike as great, clouds and all. Being Labor Day Weekend, there was most likely more people than normal which made it fun. I have never hiked north of Old Snowy on the PCT and it was more beautiful than I hoped. I will do this hike again in a heartbeat but next time plan for 3-5 days…or more.

I did this trail this weekend with my dog. The trail is very easy to walk and there are some great views in certain parts. The trail is heavily used by bicyclist so you need to be aware to move aside for them as protocol calls. The trail is mostly gravel so wear quality shoes or your feel will feel the impact. I actually wouldn't consider this a "hike" but more of a path to walk on for exercise. It was cool to see the groups of people out doing rock climbing and there are some great options for side trails if you want more of a hike (Cedar Butte and Twin Falls for example).

hiking
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Beautiful scenery. Good trail. Spectacular lake s open meadows with deer and marmot. Also saw s grouse!

on Spectacle Lake

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Wow-amazing hike!!! My one and only complaint was that we did not camp up at Spectacle (we camped at Pete's Lake) because there were (and I quote) "100 people camping and partying up there!"
The lakes were beautiful! The hike was a butt-kicker! The river was tough to cross...slippery rocks and fast moving water. All worth it!!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Amazing! Most beautiful trail I've been on! I uploaded some of my favorite pics for you!

hiking
Monday, August 01, 2016

7/31/2016 (Sunday) -- Gold Creek Pond is a beautiful park with paved path around, a good picnic area with more than a dozen of tables on a well maintain lawn. The parking lot is big, with restroom. Yet, one may see the pond from the western and northern sides of the loop, but not from the eastern side. The valley trail is very long, so we only took the first 2 miles to the creek's side for lunch. The first 1 mile is a boring private gravel road. The second mile is the real trail with signs of recent maintenance. The traffic is very light in the morning. So we enjoyed the quietness and solitude.

Excellent stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail. We hiked from Timberline Lodge to Paradise Park Loop (9miles round trip). We hung out double hammock and took a nap. Capped the day with an amazing Pizza in the Blue Ox bar inside Timberline Lodge. A fair amount of snow on the trail July 3rd 2016. Easy to navigate.

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