Surprise & Glacier Lakes (Jul 20, 2018)

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surprise_lk_coverConditions: Day Hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Scenic
Area: Stevens Pass
Reference: n/a
Stats: 11.2mi, 3325' gain (round trip)

Day 1 of my staycation... Dani wanted to do another hike. I was busy at work and had no time to think about ideas. It had been warm. So, when Dani suggested Surprise Lake it seemed perfect. Close to the creek, ample water, tall trees and shade...

We arrived at the "trailhead" parking area on the south side of Hwy2 (it is a large gravel lot on the other side of the railroad tracks). It's been years since I've been out here...I completely forgot that we needed to drive just a bit further on a gravel road to get to the trailhead. It isn't far...maybe a 1/4 mile. We arrived (2185') and found a few other cars parked there. So even on a weekday there would be people about.

From the parking area the trail continues up the gravel road and crosses under the power lines and then continues up the Surprise Lake trail gaining elevation at a steady pace. Some flowers still blooming down low (asters, paintbrush, monks hood) and there were lots of interesting moths and butterflies about. I was hoping to spot indian pipe along the trail but got no such luck. There were some coral root flowering though.

At about 2.4mi (3373') the trail gets a bit steeper and starts to switchback uphill. At about 4.24mi (4504') we reached the outlet to Surprise Lk and stopped for a short break. We were apparently distracted but the beautiful color of the lake and missed the trail junction where it heads up to Glacier Lk. Instead, we wrongly followed the fisherman's boot path to the end of Surprise Lake before we figured out what we did wrong. Rats... We backtracked, found the trail, and continued uphill to Glacier Lk, When we arrived at the lake it was apparent getting to Surprise Mtn would be too long of a trip so we turned (5.98mi, 4906') around and headed down to Glacier Lk where we found a nice flat rock for lunch (6.23mi, 4827'). We must have stayed at Glacier Lk at least an hour before noticing that it was starting to get late and was time to hike out.

We got back to Surprise Lk at about 7.19mi and then started the long hike back down to the car.
 
Surprise & Glacier Lakes Slideshow

surprise_lk_map
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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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