Backpack - Blue Lake Loop

Blue Lake Loop

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
Meeting time and place TBD
This trip is part of the B3 Backpacking Building Blocks series and course enrollees are eligible for B3 course graduation credit, although registration is open to all adult club members.

All Mountaineer activities, including backpack trips, are restricted to members over the age of 18 unless the trip is explicitly listed as a youth activity and led by a Qualified Youth Leader. This backpack trip is for adults age 18+.

Blue Lake is a deep blue lake set in a deep rocky cirque in the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Its alluring azure waters have huge chunks of ice bobbing on it until late into September. Two long ridges with jaw –dropping views and often covered in wildflowers.

We will take three days to explore this area and complete a loop that connects both of the ridges lead to the lake. We will also take an optional hike on the second day to an old fire lookout site with commanding views of Glacier Peak and other peaks up and down the Cascade crest.

Highlights of this trip are spending a night at amazing azure blue lake, fabulous views from not one but two long ridges, and visiting an area that is area that is well away from the crowds.

Estimated daily itinerary:

Day 1: Trailhead to camp by Long John Mountain. 11.5 miles 2800 feet.

Day 2: Hike to Little Blue Lake and continue to Blue Lake. Set up camps. 4 miles 600 feet. Optional hike to old fire summit on Johnson Mountain (4 miles 1100 feet round trip).

Day 3 Blue Lake to trailhead. Leave Blue Lake and hike along Pilot Ridge with sprawling flower-filled meadows and far-reaching views for 4 miles before descending and ascending the ridge down to North Fork Sauk River trail. 11.5 miles, 800 feet.

It is possible that the itinerary or destination may have to be changed due to the fact that some of the snow fields along the route do not melt out late in the summer. A decision will made by trip leader closer to departure date. The first night of camping may be a dry camp requiring participants to carry more water or proceed one mile further to camp with water. There is also a possible ford of North Fork of Sauk River on the last day. Safety of the ford will also be determined prior to departure.

Maps: Green Trails Sloan Peak No 111, Glacier Peak No. 112, Monte Cristo No. 143, and Benchmark No. 144

Please contact leader at (425) 408-2651 or to sign up or for questions.

Participants should have been on at least one strenuous multi-day trip previously and be comfortable with potential travel in snow and water crossings. Pace will be slow to moderate with plenty of time to enjoy lake and scenery and to take pictures.

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials
Trip Reports