Spider Meadow Trail is a 22.0 kilometer out and back trail located near Stehekin, Washington that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, bird watching, and backpacking and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 22.0 km Elevation Gain: 861 m Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

hiking

bird watching

forest

views

wildlife

NOTE: You will need a 4WD vehicle on the road leading to the trailhead.

hiking
snow
8 months ago

Spider Meadows is basically Narnia. A girl friend and I left Leavenworth about 6:30am, started hiking by 8:10am. The road up is the hardest part of the whole trail. I have a four runner, it was bumpy but not impossible! We signed in and hit the trail. Sign says Phelps TRHD (not Spider Meadows). We started trekking at about 19 m/m because we were on a time limit. Took about 1 hr 48 min to get to the meadow. So much scenery, so much beautiful landscape and a few chipmunks! We were the first ones in the meadow after a light dusting of snow! So beautiful. Expected fall colors, but this seasons early winter is great as well!! Glad to get in before they closed the gates up for snow load. Spent a few minutes enjoying the view and taking photos and then started the journey back out. Took about another hour and 45 minutes. Saw a couple on horses on the way out which explains all the horse poop! We also two other men, the only others that day. Lots of different types of fungi out and about along the trail. Several other trails that branch off of Phelps, would be perfect for a sweet backpacking trip. Definitely in my future! Made it back to town by 2pm. Great day, great hike. Any more questions hit me up on Instagram @she_colorsnature

hiking
8 months ago

The recording is the part of the trail from Spider Gap, which is past the end of the mapped trail, back down past Spider Meadow to the trailhead. We hiked in Sunday (a little under 6 miles and 1500’ gain on an easy to follow, well-graded trail). We camped in the meadow, then climbed to the gap (with a 1/2 mile round trip to see Phelps Basin) and back down to the meadow to sleep Monday, then hiked out Tuesday. Absolutely spectacular. The mapped trail ends at some high campsites with amazing views of the meadow. Note that it’s *very* steep to get up there once you cross Phelps Creek above the meadow. Enjoy the incredible views back down to the meadow more than 1000’ below! There are several sites and a pit toilet up there, and a creek nearby for water. Just before the really steep part is the trail to the right into Phelps Basin. Easy and short and worth the time; we had a snack while enjoying the splendor. To go up to the gap from those high campsites requires microspikes or some form of points on your boots because it’s several hard-frozen snowfields. Above the snowfields is a final basin. The gap itself is in front of you, but it’s a very steep, loose slope. Instead, look for cairns that lead you up to the right and then side hill to the gap. Ignore the elevation gain in the recording - this part was almost all downhill. Spider Gap is right at 7000’ and the parking lot is at 3500’. The base of the meadow, where we camped, is at 4700’.

backpacking
8 months ago

Clear trail, very easy to follow. Wide at times, narrow at others. Recommend wearing pants if brushing against plants bothers you. After about a dozen stream crossings (very easy this time of year), it gets steeper and then you break out into the meadow, where there are glorious views to the other end about a mile away. Plenty of water in the creek, so water isn’t an issue. We camped in the first spot across the creek from the trail, with a glorious view all the way up the valley. The next day, we did a day hike up to Spider Gap. See my other recording and review for details of that. There are many campsites in the meadow; just keep following boot trails to find them. No need to create new ones. There are a couple of pit toilets in the meadow; don’t be the jerk who ignored them and stunk up an area by the creek. Take seriously everyone’s warnings about the road. 4WD definitely needed!

hiking
9 months ago

This is a gorgeous trail but man is that road bad. It’s worse than you can imagine. HIGHLY recommend a high clearance vehicle unless you have the patience of a Buddhist monk. Elevation gain isn’t bad and there are plenty of campsites all the way through. We ended up camping at Phelps basin and it was cold! Lots of wind but beautiful views. There’s plenty of water across all along this trail as well.

hiking
bugs
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

Tons of people, hardly able to find parking at the trailhead. There were some bugs, but not too bad. Nice views and great weather. All the stream crossings are no problem.

hiking
off trail
9 months ago

Getting to the trailhead in a regular (non-4x4) vehicle is a nightmare. If I had done better research I would have never taken my poor Honda out that way. Having said that the meadow is absolutely stunning and we spent a lovely day there. We didn't have a canine companion with us but I love that this place allows them. As far as we could tell campfires were also okay based on the signage.

hiking
scramble
snow
9 months ago

If you go all the way to the gap prepare for a very steep pass and snow. The first 7 miles are super easy to the meadows then you go up 1000 feet to a pass where’s there’s another campground, then another 1200 feet straight up a glacier. Worth going to the top but bring proper gear

hiking
bugs
10 months ago

backpacking
10 months ago

The trail was great and easy for two first time backpackers with 30lb packs. The road to the trail head is pretty intense and I recommend an SUV or bigger. If you don't have one just take it nice a slow after the turn up to Phelps Trailhead and you should be good. The flies were bad during the day and the mosquitoes came out in full force at night. A small fire with a bit of smoke got rid of them. We can't wait to try the loop next year!

hiking
over grown
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

LOVED this hike - easy to do with a 40ib backpack with plenty of camping spots throughout the meadow. Bugs were minimal, wildlife galore, and fantastic sunny views/conditions. It’s does get pretty cold overnight so make sure you pack a rain tarp. We dropped our packs in the meadow and made the hike to the top within a hour to watch the sunset. Only downside was the stream crossing to get to the meadow. Overall I think we crossed 15 streams, which definitely impacted those without waterproof hiking boots.

hiking
11 months ago

ROAD CONDITIONS I have been on quite a few Forest Service roads in WA and this has been my worst experience - you absolutely do need a high-clearance vehicle like SUV or truck because first you go 9 miles in medium-pothole road (which you can still do in a sedan) but the last 2 miles of the road are really bad with deep ruts that I would never ever think about doing in a sedan. HIKE The hike in early July was amazing! There are flowers all along the way and when you reach the meadow, it's full of greenery and flowers, the view was spectacular. Wished we could have done campaing there!

camping
11 months ago

Beautiful place. Mellow elevation before opening up into the big meadow. The stream crossings were no big deal. With a little patience and care we were able to skip across the rocks and logs even with full packs on, never got my feet wet. Quite a few dogs on the trails. Lots of marmots and a few deer at the meadow at dawn and dusk. Bugs were average. Wind wasn’t an issue. A few good camp sites at south end of meadow, but they fill up quickly. If you have the mustard there are a couple of rockin’ campsites at Phelps basin and at the top by Spider Gap but only one or two. I would be pretty hesitant to try that road without a high clearance vehicle. I have a fat tire 4x4 and had no trouble but the last two miles has some deep ruts washed into the road, some areas with sharp rocks and some spots with high centers that could hang up a low vehicle. An experienced driver with an ordinary car could try it, but it will require patience and some planning.

backpacking
11 months ago

the road is a bit challenging to reach the trailhead but the hike is excellent and quite manageable. crossing several creeks, streams, fallen trees up to 2' diameter to the meadows. was gorgeous epic vista scenery in the meadows. decided against a campfire due to windy conditions. very windy at night, gusts of 40-50mph. hike in took 3.5-4hrs, out maybe 3 as it was all down hill. highly recommended, bit chilly at night.

hiking
bugs
Fri Jan 18 2019

Mon Sep 10 2018

Amazing day, weather behaved and was cool and perfect! We loved this trail so much wonderful things too see. We will be back for sure

hiking
Wed Jul 25 2018

One of the greatest hikes I've done here in Washington.

hiking
Sun Sep 17 2017

Yeah, the road was different the last two miles with deep ruts. A Volvo sedan was at the TH though so its more about driving confidence and ability then anything. Seems a nice fancy Lexus SUV with plenty of clearance didnt make it to the top though. This is a five star hike in my opinion as it has spectacular scenery and can provide a workout when climbing up towards Spider Gap. The trail is in great shape, better then the road in fact. Its a long hike but a great hike for someone wanting to cover some distance. There is a fork for Spider Gap and Phelps Basin, choose to head up towards Spider Gap and continue until there are some campsites as a turn around location. This part took about a half hour but may vary as its all up and fairly steep. The view and setting above are worth if for most. After lunch we headed toward the basin and within five minutes we found ripe yummy blueberries! It took us about three hours to get to the split from the car and it took my two hours to get back but I had a pretty good pace going back. The hike took the seven of us about 7 hours and 45 minutes round trip with plenty of stops. The drive from Monroe took 2 hours and 45 minutes in a SUV. Add 20-30 min you dont have a larger truck and dont like driving on gravel roads.

backpacking
Fri Sep 08 2017

Nitty gritty: road leading up is atrocious. High clearance only, although if you do risk it, be prepared to leave some of your auto body parts behind as evidenced by them in the road along the way. Road is rutted and has sections that are more like sand dunes. Trail itself is very low-key. Not terribly scenic, but you don't even break a sweat before you're already at the meadow. Water is plentiful along the trail, even this late in the season. Crossed a few dry creek beds but mostly there was water everywhere. Including waterfalls. It was really nice to not have to pack water for my 2 dogs. The meadow is stunning and has gorgeous campsites. Be ambitious and research other connecting trails. They're all worth it and can be checked out in a single overnight trip.

Sun Jul 19 2015

Reasonable hike for what you get. wildflower, large meadow, and surrounding mountain peaks. long hike, but not too difficult. get there early if you want an established campsite as they fill up quickly, especially in summer. also, be prepared for a long, dusty, bumpy drive up to trail head. if you are looking for a longer trip, push through spider gap to lyman lakes for even prettier views, glaciers, and more privacy.

hiking
Thu Jul 04 2013

Fantastic hike! The water crossings are a bit high for early July, be prepared to get wet! Recommend taking some Tevas. Still some snow on the trail too, but should be melted out soon. Will have to return for an overnight stay and get to the Gap!

hiking
Tue Aug 14 2012

Heaven on earth!! Just got back from an overnight and will make this a yearly treat. You just can't go wrong with a trail that offers such scenery. Waterfalls, meadows, creeks, forests, high mountain peaks, oh my!! The trail is in excellent condition with only a few blow downs that were easy to climb over. We crossed the meadow and headed to Phelps Basin but stopped short of reaching it. The meadow is still alive with wild flowers and while the trailhead looked like a parking lot for a rock concert we encountered surprisingly few people on the trail itself. The 25 miles on the dirt road aren't as nasty as I've read though it is certainly a bit jostling in spots. If you decide to go, don't make it a day hike you truly MUST stay the night. The bugs were a bit agressive so apply your DEET or whatever bug remedy you prefer. This is my favorite hike and can't wait to go back and explore more.

camping
Fri Apr 13 2012

My favorite place to hike and camp in Washington. Beautiful scenery, cold clear water, amazing wildflowers in season. My friends and I are making this our yearly "must-do" backpacking trip.

hiking
Wed Sep 29 2010

fall is in the air the fact that it drizzled the whole 2 days we were up there did little to change the fact that the place was amazing. I dont think u could add more colors if u were painting a pic. As we were going in on a sunday there were tons of people coming out but only 2 groups we seen staying over that night. Lots of the endangered marmots running around but little other wildlife to be seen, lots of deer tracks thought. If your going to do this hike take the time to go to the top of spider gap the view is well worth the steep climb to the top, we found that following the glacier is a much more difficult route then if u take the side trail to the top of hill then follow ridge.(once your up near the glacier and the trail seems to disapear) Although the glaciers are mostly gone they are still amazing to see in person i expecialy liked the red snow on the higher ones. this trip is a must in my book :)

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

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