Labor Day Weekend in the Snowy Lakes Basin

Snowy Lakes--5.jpg

Over Labor Day weekend Alex and I had planned on going on a 35+ mile hike through Glacier Peak Wilderness. Unfortunately, the road to the trailhead was too much for our 2WD sedan to handle so we had to turn around and find a plan B. A number of other unforeseen circumstances (mainly more bumpy forest roads and a lack of available permits in the national park) got in the way of plans B, C, D, and E and finally we ended up hiking plan F: Snowy Lakes in Wenatchee National Forest. However, Plan F was by no means a fail. When you live in Washington you can get through an entire alphabet of plans and still be in for a treat!

The hike to Upper Snowy Lake is 11.5 miles with 2,700' elevation gain. The hike was beautiful. The trail was nice and easy as it gradually meandered through the forest until, finally, it abruptly rose 700' in the last grueling half mile. But then we were there: The stunning Snowy Lakes basin, sitting beneath the beautiful Golden Horn and Mount Hardy.

Since we had a long three-day weekend to relax, Alex and I spent the entire next day lazying around. We read, we swam in the cold yet refreshing Upper Snowy Lake, and we even took an afternoon nap! The trip ended up being a far cry from the strenuous weekend we thought we were going to have but we relished in the opportunity to just kick it.

On the third day we awoke to the smell of smoke and the sight of an eerily orange sky. Overnight smoke from nearby wildfires descended on the basin, transforming it into an apocalyptic landscape. We packed up as quickly as we could and then headed back through the haze, buffs clasped over our mouths in an attempt to filter as much of the smoke as we could. 

I didn't take out my camera nearly as much as I normally do on trips (which was, admittedly, also a nice break) but below are the few photos I did take!