Basic Backpacking Field Trip

Field trip: Basic Backpacking

Basic Backpacking Field Trip - Ingalls Creek

Overnight field trip for the Basic Backpacking Course. This is the last scheduled activity for the course.

  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 9.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,300 ft
  • Pace: Keeping together pace

Ingalls Creek TH, time 10:00am.  Please aim to arrive a bit before 10, so that tasks of visiting the bathroom, putting on boots, etc., are done and you are ready to circle up at 10.

NW Forest Pass required.  Outhouse available at the TH.  Note: depending on where you are coming from, it is generally faster to go over both Snoqualmie and Blewett Passes, not Stevens Pass.  

From Cle Elum take Highway 970 east for 7 miles to Highway 97. Go north over Blewett Pass. At milepost 178, turn left onto Ingalls Creek Road. Cross Peshastin Creek, bear left. The trailhead is at the road's end.

From Leavenworth, take Highway 2 east for 4 miles, then take a right onto Highway 97S and proceed for 7 miles before taking a right onto Ingalls Creek Road. Cross Peshastin Creek and bear left. The trailhead is at the road's end.

This will be a beginner-friendly backpack up Ingalls Creek about 4-5 miles to the Horse Camp (if available).  Depending on our pace, and how many obstacles or photo opportunities we encounter, we should arrive at camp in the early afternoon.  We will set up camp, and then choose to relax in camp by the creek, or venture further up valley.  In the evening, depending on the weather and availability of fuel, we may choose to have a campfire.  In the morning, after a relaxed breakfast, we will pack up our gear, and head back down the trail.  

The Ingalls Creek Trail features a variety of scenery that includes big ponderosa pines, boulder fields, meadows, and occasional views of the Stuart Range.  The creek is more like a river at this time of year.  The primary attraction in late spring is the proliferation of wildflowers, some of which are uncommon.  Be prepared for the cool breezes that flow down the valley, and carry an extra layer.  Also, it is recommended to be prepared for the possibility of ticks and rattlesnakes.  Hopefully, we will find better weather east of the Crest and amazing wildflowers, as well as good trail company, along a long wilderness valley.


The Basic Backpacking Field Trip is the final scheduled activity of the Basic Backpacking Course.   For most students it will be their first overnight trip in the backcountry.  Basic Backpacking Field Trips are usually single-night trips along Easy or Moderate routes that do not present any unusual technical challenges.  


Ingalls Creek

  • Green Trails Mt Stuart No. 209

    Green Trails Alpine Lakes East (Stuart Range) No. 208SX

    USGS Mount Stuart

    Green Trails Liberty No. 210

    USGS Liberty
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

See course lectures and handouts.

Trip Reports