Josephine, Chain & Doelle Lakes

Hike south on the Pacific Crest Trail from Stevens Pass to the Icicle Creek Trail visiting stunning alpine lakes beneath the rocky spires of Bulls Tooth.

getting there

Drive SR-2 to Stevens Pass (4,000 ft). There are parking lots on the east and west sides of the pass.

on the trail

josephine lake

10 miles round trip, 2,150 feet of elevation gain, 5,100 ft high point

From the parking lot just east of the Steven Pass ski area, hike south on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) gaining 1,190 feet in 2.2 miles to reach the saddle between Cowboy and Big Chief mountains. From the saddle, drop 600 feet over the next 1.2 miles, passing under power transmission lines, to a point where the trail enters the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Continue another 1.1 miles to Lake Susan Jane. From this small lake, start hike 0.5 mile and 425 feet of elevation gain to a pass where the PCT meets the Icicle Creek Trail. Turn around here or follow the Icicle Creek Trail for 0.7 mile and 300 feet of elevation loss to camps on the southeast corner of Josephine Lake.

chain & doelle lakes

25 miles round trip, 6,200 feet of elevation gain, 6,200 ft high point

From camp at the southeast corner of Josephine lake hike 2.6 miles with 900 feet of elevation loss on the Icicle Creek Trail, turn left onto the Chain Lakes Trail, and hike 2.5 miles and 2,000 feet of elevation gain to camps at Chain Lakes. Doelle Lakes and campsites are 1.8 miles and 600 feet of elevation gain from Chain Lakes.


  • In August and September, expect to encounter PCT thru-hikers making their way to Canada from the Mexican border.
  • Suitable Activities: Backpacking, Day Hiking
  • Seasons: July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
  • Length: 25.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,700 ft
  • 6,200 ft
  • Green Trails Alpine Lakes West (Stevens Pass) No. 176S
  • Green Trails Stevens Pass No. 176

Upcoming Activities

CHS 1 Hike - Josephine Lake

Day Hiking Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series
CHS hike led at a CHS 1 pace (1.5-2.0 mph).
Difficulty: Moderate/Strenuous
Sat, Jul 31, 2021
No Prerequisites
2 participants on waitlist
Registration closes Jul 29
Seattle Branch

Backpack - Josephine, Chain & Doelle Lakes

Backpacking Trip
In 3 days, visit 9 spectacular less-visited (and swimmable) alpine lakes in the Central Cascades
Difficulty: Strenuous
Thu, Aug 12, 2021 - Sat, Aug 14, 2021
No Prerequisites, Leader's Permission Required
2 participants on waitlist
Registration closes Aug 3
Foothills Branch
Trip Reports

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  • Josephine Lake
  • Chain & Doelle Lakes

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