Deception Creek


Backpack - Deception Creek

Nineteen mile backpack loop in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. This loop has quiet trails, raging waterfalls, magnificent old growth trees, granite cliffs, mountain lakes and 360 degree views. The first day is a 10 mile hike with 3000 feet elevation gain up the Deception Creek Valley, one of the least visited valleys in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. We will camp at Deception Lakes, just off of the Pacific Crest Trail. These two lovely lakes will provide a base for an optional hike up Surprise Mountain, which has fabulous views of surrounding Cascade mountains and lakes. The return route will be along the PCT for a bit and down Surprise Creek trail. The second day is 9 miles and 1000 feet gain up and over Piper Pass. We will have time to stop at both Surprise and Glacier Lakes. This trip is desgined to offer extra coaching and gear/skills practice for B3 students.

  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 22.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,100 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 6,300 ft
  • Pace: 1.5 mph


While trail conditions should be good, participants will need to be ready for the mileage and elevation gain for the trip.  The pace will be slightly slower than moderate, so that everyone will have time to enjoy the trip, take pictures, etc.

The hike up Surprise Mountain is 2.6 miles and 1000 feet round trip and will be optional for hikers and will depend upon weather conditions.

This trip involves a short car shuttle, so most participants will need to be able to drive.

Water shoes and hiking poles are advised for possible difficult creek crossings.


Deception Creek

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
  • 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
Trip Reports