We had big plans for a hike along scenic Meadow Mountain in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, but the weather was not cooperative and we had to scale back our plans. We hiked into Crystal Lake, a distance of a little over four miles. The hike is pretty much of a valley pound following old logging roads for much of the distance, then a scramble straight up the side of the mountain for a climb of about 300', and finally by trail through the forest and then the meadows below the lake.
Even though the trail follows old logging roads much of the way, nature has been busy reclaiming the area, making for a very brushy ascent at various stretches along the trail. We got to the lake in good time, about 3 pm, leaving us plenty of time for fishing and setting up camp.
The lake is a typical sub alpine Cascade lake - ringed by evergreens, but with a meadowed fringe that makes for a quite beautiful setting. Our hike in day was mostly cloudy, with a few sunny patches, but everthing got drenched as heavy rains began late at night. Shelby and Roger had some leakage problems in their tents, but while I dodged that problem, my tent site was on a slope so I was scrunched up to one side of the tent all night.
So instead of hiking up over the pass between Crystal and Meadow Lakes and heading out Meadow Mountain, we elected to stay in camp. So we followed the sage advice of fellow Kick Ass Trekker, Jason Smith, who after a very short day in Idaho's Sawtooth Wilderness, asked "Why should we go on hiking another six hours to get to some lake, when we are already at one?" So we hung out, fishing in the rain, warming up at the campfire, and drying out wet sleeping bags.
Kickass Trekkers on this trip: Bill Mooseker, Roger Shively, and Shelby Stong.
Troop 24 Kickass Trekkers Backpacking Trip
-Cascade Bill Mooseker
Date(s): Sept 5-7, 2015. Album by Cascade Bill. 1 - 26 of 26 Total. 297 Visits.
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enlarge 369KB, 1024x662 2 Map of our route (to Crystal Lake). Best viewed at XX-Large.
enlarge 15KB, 791x1024 3 PDF file: click on Thumbnail and then open file. Statistics of our Hike to Crystal Lake - Points correspond to markers on map.
enlarge 311KB, 1024x768 4 Getting ready to head out at the trailhead.
enlarge 338KB, 1024x768 5 Crystal Lake.
enlarge 360KB, 1024x768 6 Roger at the upper end of the lake fishing.
enlarge 297KB, 1024x768 7 Shelby at the lake outlet trying his luck - he got one small fish.
enlarge 450KB, 1024x768 8 The Crystal Lake Kybo - many camps in the Glacier Peak wilderness have "Kybo's" for the convenience and for keeping the water supply safe for campers. Obviously, it would not be safe to use this one!
enlarge 252KB, 1024x768 9 View of the meadows near the outlet of the lake. The pass in the background is where we had intended to go.
enlarge 381KB, 1024x768 10 Roger caught a nice fish, and we had it for supper along with onions and garlic (courtesy of Shelby). Those red things are not tomatoes, but Hickory Farms Beefstick slices. I had a Beefstick, cheese, and onion sandwich, while Roger and Shelby had fish sandwiches (on Fred Meyer cheese rolls).
enlarge 375KB, 1024x768 11 On our "rest" day we did some serious fishing and had another fish fry for dinner. These are some of the nice rainbow trout we caught. (that's an 11 inch skillet).
enlarge 349KB, 1024x768 12 Our campsite: Shelby and Roger's tents, with the lake in the background.
enlarge 345KB, 1024x768 13 Shelby and Roger takin' it easy by the fire.
enlarge 365KB, 1024x768 14 My new Six Moon Designs, Skyscape Trekker tent - surprising room for a 24 oz tent (pole and stakes extra).
enlarge 367KB, 1024x768 15 Our camp had a good view of the lake.
enlarge 310KB, 1024x768 16 Roger at the fire.
enlarge 219KB, 1024x768 17 When we got up in the morning, the trees at the ridgetop were covered with a light dusting of snow. Later the mists came in between varying periods of light rain.
enlarge 218KB, 1024x768 18 View looking towards the upper end of the lake.
enlarge 366KB, 1024x768 19 Roger.
enlarge 39.00MB, 1152x648 Download MPEG4 20 VIDEO - Click Photo to View. "A steak and a beer!"
enlarge 357KB, 1152x647 21 Shelby cooking the trout over a bed of coals. Bear Grylls has nothing on Shelby - everything was soaked through and when you walked it was like walking on a wet sponge, yet Shelby was able to get a fire started and keep it going without resorting to gas or fire starters, and without an axe or saw.
enlarge 134.91MB, 1152x648 Download MPEG4 22 VIDEO - Click Photo to View. Frying fish over coals.
enlarge 286KB, 1024x768 23 Roger leaving camp.
enlarge 280KB, 1024x767 24 Cascade Bill.
enlarge 49.27MB, 1152x648 Download MPEG4 25 VIDEO - Click Photo to View. Shelby and Roger hiking down the meadows below the lake.
enlarge 392KB, 1024x768 26 Shelby at the junction of the Crystal Lake and Meadow Mountain trails. This used to be a good road - in 1986, Andrew and I drove up this road four miles farther to the then Meadow Mountain trailhead. As you can see, nature is very quickly reclaiming the road.