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Trip Report    

Backpack - Sheep Lake & Nannie Ridge

Very enjoyable trip but beware of lingering snow and bugs

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Lingering snow beyond Sheep Lake and especially approaching Cispus Pass on PCT. We had to circumnavigate a difficult snow field that was undermined by running water and turned back before Cispus Pass due to extensive snowfield with considerable run out. Several downed trees but nothing difficult to get over.

The Walupt Lake Campground was full for the Fourth of July weekend and quite busy. Nonetheless we were able to get free parking permits from the campground host. The trails did not seem that busy but still most of the camp sites at Sheep Lake were already taken. Nonetheless we were able to find enough sites for our group. I had misgivings about the purity of the water in the lake so several in our party including myself elected to hike about .6 miles to a stream for better water. We heard the bugs are bad and advised everyone have bug nets, and that indeed was the case. Considering the water quality question and bugs I would recommend camping at the campground .8 miles south on the PCT instead.

My original plan was to venture out to Snowgrass Flat but we had to turn around before Cispus Pass due to lingering snow. Not everyone in our group had micro-spikes, so the run out looked to be too risky. Nobody was disappointed because the views of the Goat Rocks Peaks were still so awesome. Instead of staying at Sheep Lake a second night we relocated to a campground near the junction of Walupt Lake Trail and the PCT where the bugs were not so thick. It is a small campground but we had no competition, otherwise that could have been an issue for a group our size.

It is possible to hike out via the Coleman Weedpatch. However we elected to go out the short route via Walupt Lake Trail. There were a few fallen trees and we had to detour and cross the creek on a log crossing, otherwise the trail was in good condition and easy to follow.