CHS 1 Hike - Big Heart Lake

Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series

CHS 1 Hike - Big Heart Lake

CHS1 graduation hike off Stevens Pass passing 5 lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

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  • Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 15.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,050 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 4,931 ft
  • Pace: 1.5 - 2.0 mph

Brickyard Park and Ride at 5:30am.

Update: for a recent pictures of this route see Craig Romano's Facebook post from September 2.  (He went further than we will, so our numbers will be less than his.)

This CHS1 graduation hike starts at a trailhead off Highway 2 (Stevens Pass Road) near the town of Scenic and follows the  West Fork Foss trail past Trout Lake, Copper Lake, and Little Heart Lake before reaching our turnaround point at Big Heart Lake.  During the hike in we'll also take the short side trail to visit Lake Malachite.

To ease our pack weight during the hike in, we'll bring water filters  so that we can refill our  water bottles/bladders during lunch at Big Heart Lake.  We'll coordinate before the trip to bring about 1 pump for every 2 people.

Sunrise is at 6:50am and sunset is at 7:05pm.  Depending on the speed of the group we will probably finish the hike in 10 - 11 hours with 1 - 2 hours of daylight to spare.  However, if we are delayed then we may end up completing the hike after dark.  (This is true of all CHS graduation hikes.)  Please come prepared with a headlamp and good batteries.  Poles are highly recommended too even if you don't regularly use them, as they can provide security when hiking out via headlamp.

Note that some route descriptions (WTA) list the gain for this route as 3300', however the trail has some ups and downs, and that total does not include gain on the return.  The slightly larger gain listed for this trip is based on Caltopo and analysis of the Green Trails map.  It is believed to be more accurate but is still an estimate.

Afterwards we'll stop for dinner at a location along Stevens Pass Road TBD.


Big Heart Lake

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Ten Essential Systems

  1. Navigation (map & compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)
Trip Reports