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Trip Report    

Backpack - Waptus River

3-day trip to Waptus and Deep Lakes on 4th of July weekend

  • Road rough but passable
  • Trail is in good shape to Waptus Lake.  You do have to ford the Waptus river just before reaching the lake (follow signs to horse ford) but the river is wide and slow at the ford and we didn't have any trouble.  Lots of campsites near the lake and not many bugs at Waptus.  Additional campsites are located about a half mile west along the north side of the lake.

    Second day we did a day hike to Deep Lake via the PCT.  At least a dozen blow-downs on this stretch of trail but we were able to successfully navigate around, over or under them.  Deep lake is very pretty but the bugs were voracious and drove us away after a brief stop.  The trail along the southwest side of Deep lake is currently blocked by a muddy, swampy, marshy area so you can't really get close to the lakeshore.

Last mile of road to the TH is rough, with lots of potholes but passable. 

Small group of four strong hikers for this trip, so we made it to Waptus in about 4.5 hours.  Lake was busy for the 4th of July weekend but blessedly low on mosquitoes.  Sunny and breezy the first day.  Second day the crest to the west looked cloudy and rainy so we switched plans from hiking up to Lake Ivanhoe to hiking to Deep Lake.  Perhaps better weather but the bugs at Deep Lake drove us away pretty quick.  Still snow patches and water on the trail near Deep Lake.  Spring is just arriving there, whereas down below at Waptus it's summer conditions.  The PCT between Waptus and Deep lake has not been logged out yet so we had to navigate at least a dozen blow downs but none were too difficult. 

A few rain sprinkles on night two and this morning.  Hike out was quite buggy, perhaps the lack of wind was the cause.  No bugs at Waptus lake but as soon as we headed down the trail they descended.  About 5 hours to hike out under gradually improving weather.  Stopped in Roslyn for treats on the way out.  Somehow there was no 4th of July traffic coming back over the pass.

This was my second time to Waptus, which makes a good base camp for hiking to the higher lakes nearby:  Ivanhoe, Spade and Deep.  I'll be back, perhaps a bit later in the season next year, to tackle Ivanhoe or Spade.

Waptus is also good for swimming/submerging one's self to get clean.  Not too cold and a nice beach at the east end of the lake.