Backpack - Boiling Lake Area


Backpack - Boiling Lake Area

ALUMNI BACKPACK (4 days/3 nights): Explore stunning high alpine meadows hopefully in full wildflower bloom around Boiling Lake in the Chelan Sawtooths (this route is part of the Golden Lakes Loop). Please note: spots on this trip are reserved for B3 or Tacoma Intro to Backpacking graduates for the first 3 weeks after registration opens.

  • Moderate
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 30.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 6,500 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 7,500 ft
  • Pace: 2 mph
Crater Lake TH  on Wed, July 24 at 11 am (anticipate a short trailhead briefing and aim to be hiking by 11:30 am).
- Note this is a long drive (approximately 4hr 15min from Seattle). Please plan accordingly to arrive promptly at the TH.
- Carpooling is encouraged
- NW Forest Pass required
The Chelan Sawtooth area typically melts out much earlier than the central Cascades and offers opportunities to explore high meadows, cross country off trail rambles and walk up low summits.  Formerly one of Washington's primary sheep herding areas, remnants of the old sheep trails remain.  Current trails are mixed use which attract backpackers, trail runners, mountain bikers, climbers and horse travelers. This is a favorite area of mine and  I’ve backpacked here on three previous trips and look forward to returning.
  • Trip participants should be comfortable with multiday backpacking trips, maintain physical fitness to hike on 4 successive days with total mileage of approximately 30 miles/6000-7000 ft ascent and descent, ability to pack for a range of higher elevation conditions while managing pack weight to allow for an approximate 2 mph pace. 
  • This is a group trip and I expect participants to stay together on the trail, actively engage with each other and support each other on the trail.  I will aim to lead in a collaborative style keeping both group and individual physical and emotional safety in mind, but I will also be prepared to make a final decision should issues arise.

  • Our route
Base route on CalTopo. Additional possible day trip route options below under Day 3. Overall mileage with added day trips in the range of 30 miles, 6000-7000ft↑↓ .
Day 1 (Wed, 7/24) Crater Creek TH to Upper Eagle Lake Gaia   5.9 miles/2510↑/125↓
Day 2 (Thu, 7/25)  Upper Eagle Lake to Boiling lake area Gaia   3.5 miles/675↑/870↓ to camp + additional miles for afternoon hiking with a slack pack
Camp either at Boiling Lake or above the lake headed toward Hoodoo Pass. After we've set up camp, anticipate afternoon exploration on one of the myriad of marked or unmarked trails in the area.
Day 3  (Fri, 7/26) 8-10 miles and 1700 -2500 ft ↑↓
Day hike with slack packs which will involve hiking through high alpine meadows such as to Cub Lake (Gaia) or on Summit trail to Chipmunk Pass and beyond (Gaia), other route options also available. Route this day will be based on group interest and off trail exploration may be possible.
Day 4 (Sat, 7/27) Boiling Lake area to Crater Creek TH  Gaia   8.25 miles/845↑/3013↓
- No reliable bear hangs in this high alpine area for a larger group.  Bear canister or Ursack + Opsak/similar odor proof bag is required
- This area can be buggy so be prepared. I recommend picaridin or DEET spray, consider prespraying your clothing/gear with permethrin spray and bring a headnet.
*See packing list in Required Equipment tab.
- My goal is to create a safe and successful trip with compatible group members. I will use information in the pre-trip questionnaire to assess relevant backpacking experience and goals.
- May request leader permission and complete the questionnaire at any time and I will notify successful applicants 2 weeks prior to registration opening. 
 - As noted previously, this is a Alumni Backpack for B3 and Tacoma Intro Backpacking course graduates so if you are not a graduate of these courses and I have given you leader permission, please do not register until 3 weeks after registration opens (5/6/2024). 
Please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions.

Boiling Lake Area

  • Green Trails Prince Creek No. 115

    Green Trails Buttermilk Butte No. 83

    USGS Martin Peak

    USGS Prince Creek

    USGS Oval Peak

    Green Trails North Cascades Lake Chelan No. 114SX
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

Please individualize to fit your own style and predicted weather but please keep LNT principles as well as individual and group safety and comfort in mind.

Packing List (Gear) 
Backpack + whistle
Sleeping bag/quilt + pad
Tent or bivvy
Water bottle(s)/bladder 2 liters
Water purification/filter
Sun protection (sunglasses, sunscreen, hat)
Hiking pole(s) 
*Even if you don’t typically hike with a pole, on a longer trip having at least one pole is good practice for managing unforeseen injury
Bug protection (picaridin or DEET spray, headnet, consider prespraying your gear/clothing with permethrin)
Pocket knife or multitool
First aid kit  
*Everyone's personal first aid kit should include personal meds, a small ACE type wrap, Tylenol + ibuprofen for small injuries, band aids, blister management (Moleskin/tape for hot spots  or my preferred is a hydrocolloid such as Band-Aid Hydroseal for open sores). Trip leader will have a more substantial First Aid kit.
Personal hygiene (TP/Kula cloth, wipes, toothbrush/paste, spade, bag to carry out paper waste,  gender specific items)
Gaia or CalTopo app on phone with downloaded maps of area 
*All with cell phones should have a navigation app on their phone, trip leader will also have a paper map.
Cell phone/camera/battery pack (optional)
Reading material/cards/games (optional)
Sit pad (optional)
Packing List (Food)
 Ursack + Opsak or bear canister required
*No reliable bear hang in all camps
 Breakfast x 3 days
 Lunch/snacks x 4 days
❑ Dinner x 3 nights
 Electrolyte powder (optional)
Packing List (Clothing)  
Hiking boots or hiking shoes
Camp shoes/water shoes (optional)
Hiking socks (wool or synthetic)
Hiking Gaiters (optional)
Short or long sleeve shirt
Long sleeve sun protection shirt
Hiking pants 
Rain protection 
Puffy layer (Down or synthetic) + midlayer
Long underwear or base layer (which can also be a sleeping layer)
Hat if no hood on warm layer
Trip Reports