Kachess Ridge, a Lepidopterist’s Heaven

I had heard about Thorp Lake and Thorp Mountain over the years, but had never hiked to either. Early in August a few years ago, I decided to hike to an overlook of Thorp Lake on Kachess Ridge. The trailhead isn’t too far from the city of Cle Elum, a good stepping-off place for hikes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

It was a very hot day as I began the hike out of the Knox Creek Basin on steep, exposed slopes. Soon I was spotting butterflies almost every where I looked, and an interesting moth too.

After a couple of miles I reached the Kachess Ridge Trail. In one-quarter mile the Thorp Lake overlook was found. It was a pretty spot at 5,300 feet. The lake was about 500 feet below the trail and Mt. Stewart was in the background.

On the way back to the trailhead I continued to spot even more butterflies. What a fun place to visit.

Thorp Lake

Police Moth (Bluebell Tiger Moth)

Thorp Mountain Lookout

Mountain Ash

Snowberry Checkerspot

Wildflowers along the Upper Trail

Mountain Parnassian

Lower Trail with Kachess Ridge above

A Mess of Snowberry Checkerspots

A long hazy look down the Knox Creek Drainage



Categories: Washington Cascades HikesTags: ,

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