Waptus & Spade Lakes and Polallie Ridge


Backpack - Spade Lake

Two lovely nights at Waptus Lake, deep in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Visit Spade and hopefully Venus Lakes as a side trip. The usual challenges and rewards of a later fall trip, plus a river ford, await the adventurer.

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.
  • Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 25.6 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,679 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 5,700 ft
  • Pace: 2.0-2.5 mph

Meet near Roslyn at 10AM Friday.  We will caravan to the Salmon La Sac TH.

This is a Phase 2 trip.  We will follow The Mountaineers' Covid-19 protocol.  Each participant is required to bring a cloth mask, buff or bandana on the trip and to don it when within 6' of others both on trail and at camp.  Each participant is to attest that they do not have Covid-19 symptoms or been another others that do before the trip.


Day 1

TH to south end camps at Waptus Lake camp. 7.2 miles, 1,181' gain, 676' loss.  Lovely hike through forest, along the river and a ford near the lake outlet.  Past trip reports speak of the ford being about knee deep.

Day 2 Up to Spade Lake, 4.4 miles each way, 2,706'gain, 535' loss to the lake.  Seriously considered going further to Venus Lake, 1.1 miles further, an additional 479' gain, 102' loss.  Total to Venus and Spade on this "day hike"  11 miles, 3,822' gain and loss. The trail up to Spade is quite steep at the beginning 2 miles, then up and down.  The trail to Venus is a rougher boot path, with the high point for the trip at about 5700'.  We will need to be checking snow levels to see how feasible these are. Microspikes may be required.

Day 3 Waptus Lake camp to TH, 7.2 miles, 676' gain, 1,181' loss.

There are numerous issues that arise with a trip this late in the season: darkness, cold, and precipitation. Darkness:  with a Sunrise of 7:44 am and Sunset of 5:47 pm and a half hour twilight at each end--that is then 11 hours of daylight and 13 hours of darkness.  It will be cool or cold at night and possible during the day as well. Precipitation:  This trip is weather dependent and might be cancelled, shortened or changed. A few showers or rain or snow--okay.  All day heavy rain or snow--no thanks.  The snow level will also effect if we can/want to go up to Spade and/or Venus Lakes.  Other "day hikes" are possible.  Microspikes may be required if snow is on the trail or predicted to be on the ground. There is likely a 50% chance the trip will be cancelled for foul weather. Hey, if the weather is good enough this should be a good trip and enjoyable.   Leader's Permission is required. Please let me know you understand the above mentioned issues.  Please also let me know of your trips this past season that show your readiness for this trip.  Rob


Waptus & Spade Lakes and Polallie Ridge

  • Green Trails Stevens Pass No. 176

    Green Trails Kachess Lake No. 208

    Green Trails Alpine Lakes East (Stuart Range) No. 208SX

    Green Trails Alpine Lakes West (Stevens Pass) No. 176S
  • See full route/place details.
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
  • Extra warm clothes
  • A complete set of extra clothes incase you get wet
  • Full rain gear
  • May require microspikes or equivalent 
  • Extra batteries or a backup head lamp
  • Fire starter
Trip Reports