An Enchanted Destination, Deep in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness

With these series of posts, I am highlighting some of my favorite wilderness destinations.

Alpine areas are typically found in the higher mountains at about 6,000 feet of elevation, and are usually free of snow beginning in mid-July.

From then to late September is the prime time to visit these areas in the Pacific Northwest. Given the short window of time, it’s important to plan ahead for the “best” alpine hikes.

On the bucket list of great alpine hikes in the Pacific Northwest, Ingalls Lake is a jewel.

A deep blue, ice cold tarn in a glacier-scrubbed, polished brown rock basin below the red-slab cliffs of 7,700-foot Ingalls Peak. And, looming over the lake are the white granite walls of 9,500-foot Mt. Stuart.

It’s always a place of memories. The old cowboy summitted Mt. Stuart in the late 1930’s.

I’ve hiked, hunted and fished in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness many times, beginning as a kid.

But of all the destinations, Ingalls Lake is one of the very best.

Mt. Stuart behind Ingalls Lake

Hoary Marmot

Ingalls Lake (in the fall the Alpine Tamaracks at the end of the lake turn golden)

Mountain Goat Kid

Hikers on last stretch to Ingalls Lake


Mountain Goat

As I neared the Lake one summer day, there was a group of mountain climbers with ropes and other gear in their packs. They were getting ready to climb Ingalls Peak. For fun, I joined them on the climb until they stopped to rope in. After giving them a hearty Good Climbing Cheer, I turned back and enjoyed the views on the remaining hike to the Lake.

Ingalls Peak

Hoary Marmot

Mountain Goat

Fellow hikers at Ingalls Lake


Categories: Washington Cascades HikesTags: ,

1 comment

  1. Wonderful!  Thank you!

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