Best trails for cascade high lakes

Discussion in 'Stillwater' started by Robert Evans, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. Robert Evans

    Robert Evans New Member

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    I'm fairly new to Washigton and have heard great things about these high altitude lakes. I really want to take a trip up to do some trout fishing and am having a hard time finding info. Any ideas between I-90 and 2 would be great. Day hikes, overnights, weekends are all great. If you have maps I'd love to see them.
    Thanks,
    Rob
    :beer2:
     
  2. Itchy Dog

    Itchy Dog Some call me Kirk Werner

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    I'm just waiting for Kent to chime in- he's going to have lots of info for you.
     
  3. Snake

    Snake tryin' not to get too comfortable

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    http://wdfw.wa.gov/outreach/fishing/highlake.htm

    Doesn't really explain trails, but has some decent lake recommendations.

    That info, along with a state atlas (like a DeLorme Gazetteer) should put you on the right track.

    Or check out some hiking guide books (at REI or the library), find a trail into a lake, or pick an area to explore, and get on it.
     
  4. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Revans,

    Where to begin. You've picked an area with scads and scads of lakes. I haven't done much hiking for fishing in that area however. I think you'll generally find that the best fishing is had in lakes that are not serviced by any main hiking trail. I can't show you my maps, and most of them don't cover the area you're interested in. My point still applies tho. Pick a lake that from looking at the map it appears you'd have to bushwhack to. Often there's a rough fisherman's trail leaving a main trail to your intended lake. Know how to use your map and compass, and a GPS is probably a good idea, but those weren't available when I was figuring out how to do this. Have fun and take DEET for the bugs.

    Sg
     
  5. Robert Evans

    Robert Evans New Member

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    I'm not very concerned about off trail navigation, i've done quite a bit of it, i would however like to make it easier on myself if possible. If there are any access points that anyone knows of or a specific book, i'd be interested to hear. i have checked out that WDFW website and it does have some useful info.

    Maybe i'm nuts, but i figured there would be lots of info online on this subject. How about the Pacific Crest Trail, i would prefer one less used though?
     
  6. nb_ken

    nb_ken Member

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    This book, Washington's Central Cascades Fishing Guide isn't a bad place to start. Pretty high level, but the author definately presumes that you're looking for a hiking resource.

    From the Amazon Blurb:
    "The definitive guide to stream and lake fishing within two hours drive of Seattle, covering the North Bend, Snoqualmie Pass, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, CleElum areas. This comprehensive guidebook tells where, how and when to fish the area in detail, covering more than 25 streams and 200 lakes, with 14 maps and 40 photos. Trout populations are described in depth, along with fishing techniques, access and hiking directions."


    The link is for Amazon, but I think I got my copy at some mall bookstore.
     
  7. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    If you'd like a north Cascades hike, try Ipsoot, Green, and Berdeen lakes. Drive to the end of Baker Lake, hike up the trail to the new bridge across the river, then back downstream a little ways on the east bank trail, then straight up to the ridge. It's 4,000' of elevation gain, and it's off trail. It stunningly beautiful. You'll find much solitude, because it's a brutal enough hike that most people won't go there. There are nice trout in each lake. What more could you ask for?

    Sg
     
  8. Snake

    Snake tryin' not to get too comfortable

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    Yep, the PCT between Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Pass gets within spittin' distance of a lot of high lakes.

    Yep, it's crowded on weekends near the trailheads.

    And yep, there is a ton of on-line info about access points in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and trail conditions, and all that, so I geuss you are nuts.

    Seriously, if you want solid info about trail difficulty and distances, amount of crowding, and overall "wow" factor for an area reknowned for it's high lakes and excellent hiking, get a copy of "100 Hikes in Washington's Alpine Lakes" by Ira Spring.

    It's not gonna tell you much about the fishing, though.

    Neither am I. Are you nuts? :rofl:
     
  9. Robert Evans

    Robert Evans New Member

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    Thanks for the info ken. I'm going to have to try that hike out. I appreciate all that have responded so far.
     
  10. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    [​IMG]
     
  11. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    OK Beersmith, ya' got me on poor sentence structure. It happens as I do little proof reading of my posts. I had map and compass. I did not have GPS. Better now? (insert smiley face)
     
  12. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    sorry, it just made me chuckle to think that.... no harm meant. :D
     
  13. Tim Lockhart

    Tim Lockhart Working late at The Office

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    Definitely start with the DeLorme as you'll use it everywhere...great for getting "in range." Green Trails maps are a good way to drill down if you're hitting the Cascades (REI or any good outdoor shop). http://www.greentrailsmaps.com/

    Have fun!

    BTW, nice camping rig in your pic...:thumb:
     
  14. tbuss

    tbuss Member

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    Try Waptus lake. The trialhead is near Salmon la Sac campground. It is not a very tough hike in regards to elevation gain, but it is a long hike that can be done as a two day/one night. I did it a month ago and there were very few people on that trail. You will see a ton of cars at the trailhead, but they must go to other trails because I just didn't encounter many people on the Waptus lake trail. Just make sure on the hike out that you check your water a lot and fill up before the last creek. I made the mistake of thinking there was more water on the last several miles and ended up getting severely dehydrated. You will be happy with the size of fish in that lake. Oh and make sure to have some good mosquito repellent because there is a marshy area (it may be dried out by now) about halfway to the lake that was swarming with mosquitoes when I was there. The lake itself though was practically free of mosquitoes.

    Tom
     
  15. Robert Evans

    Robert Evans New Member

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    Waptus Lake sounds great, I think i'm going to give it a whirl. I'm waiting for a new rod which should arrive any day and then I'm off!
     
  16. Brian Curtis

    Brian Curtis Member

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    salmo_g's advice is perfect. Pick out some lakes on the map and start exploring. You can't go wrong. Even if you don't catch any fish you'll have still experienced the fabulous setting. Because low numbers of fish are used, and stocking is often infrequent, the quality of fishing in any given lake can vary greatly from year to year. That means guide books don't necessarily do you all that much good. To me, the most fun is had by exploring someplace I know nothing about. The Hi-Lakers and Trail Blazers are a couple organizations (full disclosure: I belong to both) that have websites dedicated to high lake fishing in Washington.
     
  17. Jason Rolfe

    Jason Rolfe Wanderer

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    Hey man,
    There's a book called 100 hikes within 95 miles of Seattle, or something like that. You could pick it up at REI or a similar place. It has great information about basically that whole area between I90 and 2. You can just flip through it, find what looks like a good trail and lake, check the lake out online, and go.
    So, that's a good way to get started I would think. Then you can jump off the beaten track from there.
    Cheers,
    Jason
     
  18. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

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    Your question about best trails to fish mountain lakes is pretty broad and so it's tough to offer a precise answer. While there are lots of lakes in the Cascades that have fish, it covers a pretty vast area with some quite rugged terrain that makes getting to some of the more remote ones quite difficult if not downright impossible for the average guy.

    Here's some practical considerations that you might want to address. What kind of shape are you in? How much backwoods experience do you have? How simple or difficult a hike do you want to do? How long do you plan to be gone? Do you want to take floatation or fish from shore? How much gear do you have? How heavy a pack are you comfortable carrying?

    The answers to these will dictate which lakes might be best and which would be far beyond your physical condition, experience, and skill level.

    Finding a dozen or two lakes that meet your criteria shouldn't be too hard. As already suggested, get some good maps and start gathering some kitchen table intelligence. For most Cascases hiking, avoid the Gazetteer and look for detailed topo maps from the USGS or GreenTrails or pick up a set of CDs from Topo! (I've found GreenTrails maps to be more up to date than the others.)

    The advice on guidebooks is also good although the information in Fishing Washington's Central Cascades is a bit dated. Brian's advice on joining the HiLakers (http://www.hilakers.net) is also excellent. It just so happens that the monthly meeting is tonight, so visit the site and jot down directions. It's a teriffic group full of hiking and fishing experience. But don't join with the idea that people will give precise directions to their favorite lakes to a complete stranger. As you become a part of the group, you'll find that you'll get information back in proportion to the information you share.

    As a starter destination, you might drive across the pass and up to Cooper Lake and park in the lot there. Take the relatively flat and easy trail west to Pete Lake. It follows the upper Cooper River and is quite beautiful with expansive views of the eastern Cascades.

    K
     
  19. Robert Evans

    Robert Evans New Member

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    I'll just get a USGS and go. As to backcountry experience, I am a wildlife biologist and have spent months at a time in places in remote South America so i'm not very worried. I will just be wading, i don't own a float tube (maybe a good purchase i don't know), which i assume puts my on smaller lakes. It's funny on this site it seems everyone thinks you're trying to steal there favorite spot. I'm not used to that idea in a fishing community, but i'll quiet my questions in the future. As always I appreciate the response. I wish i had known about the meeting before yesterday, but i guess there is always next month.
     
  20. David Loy

    David Loy Senior Moment

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    Bob - You might also consider the Olympics since you're already on that side of the Whulge. Many gorgeous hikes and waters, less traffic. Hit the fly shop and pick up Fly Fishing the Olympic Peninsula by Doug Rose. (Sshhh, big secret: Use the mountains as your shield against inclement weather when choosing destination.)
     

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