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Bob and I go to Ice Lakes the round-about way. September, 1999

Map of Wenache NF Map of the Hike We had planned to make a grand loop, with Ice Lakes in the middle (see map). The 5 day trip would allow us to not repeat too much trail and to see a lot of the Entiat watershed.

The first leg was to hike up the Entiat river valley then cut over to Larch lakes via Myrtle lake. Our first night was on a steep ridge just below the trail junction at Fifth of July mountain. The whole campsite wasn't more than 20 feet wide (see photo).

The second day we had an easy run down to Larch lakes meadow and up to Pomas Pass. Then things got ugly. We slowed down to a little over 1 mile an hour for the off-trail crossing. We found a use trail to the North of Carne Mtn. and followed it for a mile or so. We camped on a butte at the headwaters of Box creek.

The third leg was again off-trail, going up to cross two passes into the Ice Lakes basin (see photo). The mileage was only a couple of miles, but we gained about 1600 feet in some fairly rough terrain.

I cannot say enough about the Ice Lakes basin. Absolutely stunning. We had a great open campsite in a copse of funky yellow spruce trees on a small hill overlooking the lake.

Our original plan was to exit the basin over a pass to the north of Spectacle Buttes and drop down into Entiat Meadows at the headwaters of the Entiat River. But when we got to the pass, we found that we had hit the wrong pass. We could see over to the correct pass, but the snow field in that pass was heavily corniced and looked very dangerous without an ice axe. We explored the pass we were on, but couldn't see a way down. So we bailed.

Now, the normal way down from the lakes was no picnic either! It was improbable looking and very steep. But, it at least had a trail. We spent the rest of the trip pounding down the Entiat river trail to the car. It is not a very scenic trail, and is further degraded by serving a lot of horse traffic.

A very good trip indeed.

Ridge Camp Goin' off-trail Over the Pass Photo Oportunity Mirror Lake

Useful Information

The Wenatchee National Forest web site www.fs.fed.us/r6/wenatchee


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Ice Lakes

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