Surprise Lake & Mountain


Backpack - Surprise & Glacier Lakes

Ruddy Fall colors, blue lakes and mountain top views just South of Stevens Pass

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.
  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 11.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,800 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 4,900 ft
  • Pace: 2-2.5 mph

Monroe Park and Ride 7AM Friday

We will spend two nights at Glacier Lake beneath the cliffs of Surprise Mountain.  On the off day we will head out sans packs and explore the area.  If it is safe we will take the steep trail up to the top of Surprise Mountain for the stellar views.  Could alternatively or additionalyl explore Thunder Mountain Lakes, Deception Lakes or Trap Lake.  Destinations will depend on Trail conditions. Participants should consider bringing micro spikes if available.    Trekking poles required.  Note:  This is a Fall backpack trip and there are several potential difficulties with late season overnights : 1) darkness--about 12 hours of darkness each night, Sunrise is 7:20AM and Sunset 6:20PM. 2) cold--likely below freezing at night and pontentially cool to cold during the day as well. 2) Precipation--high likelihood of rain and /or snow. Participants need to make special preparations for these additional issues.  Please let me know you are aware of  and up for these challenges when you email me for permission.  Leader Permission Required.  Of course, this trip will be weather dependent--some rain showers, light snow okay: raining all day or significant snow no thanks.


Surprise Lake & Mountain

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
  • Trekking poles for slippery slopes/snow
  • Micro spikes highly recommended,, will be required if travel conditions warrant
  • Extra warms, multi-layers of clothes
  • Extra set of clothing incase you get wet
  • Warm hat and glove, extra pair of gloves, as they often get wet 
  • Full rain gear
  • Pack cover
  • lead lamp with extra batteries or a  second lamp


Tarp/ropes or other rain repellent extras for under tent or overhead

Books, podcasts, movies, games, music, etc. to keep yourself occupied during the long nights.  Earbuds or headphones required for all electronics please.

Trip Reports