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Backpack - Chelan Summit Trail

Epic 8 day/7 night trip to the Chelan-Sawtooth Mountains. Expect golden larch trees, lakeside camps, great ridgetop views, cold nights and significant elevation gain each day. This will be a strenuous and highly rewarding trip. Leader Permission Required (no inquiries for permission until June 2 please).

  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 80.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 25,000 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 7,800 ft
  • Pace: 1.5-2.0

Exact meeting time to be determined later.  This trip will require an early morning drive from the Seattle area to the TH.

We will begin at the Foggy Dew TH and end at the Mystery Campground TH.  There is a required shuttle between the two trailheads on both the first and last days of the trip.

America the Beautiful or Northwest Forest Pass required at each trailhead

This is a challenging and highly rewarding trip.  We will be gracing the top of the Chelan-Sawtooth Mountain ridge for 8 days and roughly 80 miles with upto 25,000 gain.  We will camp at six different lakes (Sunrise, Upper Eagle, Surprise, West Oval, Juanita and Williams) and remain high, roughly 7000', for most of the trip.  Several of these lakes are noted for there fishing.  There should be brilliant Sub-alpine Larch trees in golden splendor for most of the trip.  Other foliage should be likewise adorned in autumnal glow.  This trip will have some off-trail travel and/or boot-path travel.  Participants need to be in excellent condition and have done trips of near similar challenge in the past two years.  Allen White will be joining me as the Co-Leader.

Here is the itinerary via Gaia:

Leader Permission is Required.  Please no requests before June 2nd.  Early requests will be ignored.  Registration for this trip is not first-come-first-serve.  Do to the length and challenge of this trip, Allen and I will be selecting the participants for this trip based on their past and current season backpacking experience, projected conditioning at the time of the trip and group compatibility.  Applicants need to have completed a backpack trip with the Primary Leader or Co-Leader in the past five years.  When applying please answer the following questions in detail:

1)  Yes, I have been on a backpack trip with one or both of the leaders in the past five years.  Please name the trips.

2) This trip has some, low exposure, off-trail travel and/or rough boot-path travel.  I have both experience with these conditions and will be comfortable with this.  Yes or No?

3) I have completed backpack trips in the past two years of at least five (5) nights and/or 15,000' gain.  Please list the trips, their mileage and gain and their dates.

4)  Please tell us your activities planned for the summer 2023 that will demonstrate that you will be in excellent condition to do this trip--80 miles, around 25,000 gain.

We will select the trip participant list and a couple of alternate waitlist folks at or before June 25th.  Hope you can come on this epic adventure.  Rob


Chelan Summit Trail

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Food for 8 days
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
  • Two trekking poles
Trip Reports