This lesser known area of the ALW (Alpine Lakes Wilderness) was not on my radar, in fact Washington wasn’t even part of my August itinerary, but when Mother Nature intervenes, sometimes you gotta just go with it. I’m grateful I have the flexibility to alter plans on the fly. Long story short my new friend Lester at Leavenworth Mountain Sports helped me plan this trip.
And so it began . . .
4pm, finally on trail
From trail 1582 to 1592
I was extremely thankful to find this unexpected campsite about 5 miles into the hike. The topography thus far had not been tent friendly. Bonuses: (1) Pest-free zone (2) Nearby creek (3) Starry sky view (4) Zero overnight condensation.
I’m used to seeing 10,000′ as the magic marker, but have learned 5,000 is the equivalent in the more northern regions, not that I ever make a fire.
Figured I’d at least have lunch and take a swim at Lake Grace while considering the scramble to Upper Grace Lake.
Incredible views of distant peaks (I believe to the south) as I hiked toward Lake Grace.
I believe that’s Mt Adams in the far distance.
The approach to Lake Grace.
Very distinctive peaks (to the west I believe).
So many views of Lake Grace but this may be my favorite.
I met two gals who climbed up from Lake Brigham and dropped down the snow patch (top center) to Upper Grace Lake before scrambling down these steep slopes. Impressive!
Oh the turquoise waters.
The early morning colors reflecting over the Lake Grace outlet.
Oh the wildflowers!