Spider Meadows, Spider Gap, Lyman Lakes & Buck Creek Pass


Backpack - Spider Gap, Lyman Lakes & Buck Creek Pass Loop

This is a 4-night, 44 mile clock-wise loop starting at the Trinity trailhead, passing Image Lake, Lyman Lakes, and ending at the Phelps Creek trailhead with about 9200 feet of elevation gain.

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  • Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 44.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 9,200 ft


This is a beautiful clockwise loop through some of the most picturesque areas in the region. On day one we will meet very early to carpool to the Trinity trailhead and shuttle one car to the Phelps Creek trailhead. The first day’s hike to buck Creek Pass is about 10.9 miles with 3200 feet of elevation gain. We’ll set up camp at Buck Creek Pass. On day two, we will hike 11.1 miles (2800 feet of elevation gain) from Buck Creek Pass to Image lake. We will camp at the iconic Image Lake and, weather permitting, enjoy the views. On day three, we will hike 9.2 miles (1700 feet of elevation gain) from Image Lake over Suiattle and Cloudy Passes to camp at the Upper Lyman Lakes. On day four, we will hike 10 miles (1500 feet of elevation gain) over Spider Gap, through Spider Meadows and down to the Phelps Creek trailhead. We will take one layover day somewhere on the trip, most likely at Lyman lakes. But we will keep our options for a layover flexible depending on the group and the conditions.

The trip is rated as very strenuous due to the elevation gain and mileage over the course of the trip.  Pace will be slow to low-moderate to enjoy the hike and the area.  Participants should have some backpack experience (multi-night), and need to be in shape enough to handle elevation gains and mileage. Hikers should expect long days and make no plans on the last day of the hike as the return time will probably be late evening.

Water shoes will be required due to stream crossings. Hiking poles are strongly recommended for descending the snow field at Spider Gap. Microspikes may also be required depending upon possibility of snow on Spider Gap at the time of the hike. Participants must have a bear can, Ursack or way to properly secure their food.  The direction of the loop travel and/or the location of the backpack may be changed due to trail conditions.  A Northwest Forest Pass is required for parking at the trailheads.

Although this trip is open to any Mountaineer member over 18, it is part of the B3 Backpack program, and students will get credit for this trip. B3 participants should have prior multi-night backpacking experience. Non-B3 participants must have prior multi-night backpacking experience.


Spider Meadows, Spider Gap, Lyman Lakes & Buck Creek Pass

  • Green Trails North Cascades Lake Chelan No. 114SX

    Green Trails Holden No. 113

    Trails Illustrated Glacier Peak Wilderness
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Maps: Green Trails Glacier Peak No. 112 & Green Trails Holden No. 113
  • Water shoes
  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister, Ursack, or means to properly secure food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports