4 Day Backpacking Trip... Last minute help, please.

I hate to ask, but we've been planning a Cascade backpacking trip for a while and I'm concerned that we may be looking at poor fishing and cold water where we planned on staying. I'd love to get some info about snow level and water temps at various altitudes if you'd all be so kind to share.

I'm kinda considering the Elwha too if anyone has a take on that, I'd appreciate it. Thanks for the help.


The Cascades are HUGE...there is different snowpack levels in different areas...

Can you narrow it down a bit? Like...where were you planning on going?

By now most lakes (not ALL) will be ice free below 5000'-6000'
I'm not area specific at this point. We were going to start near North Bend, but the creek fording (high water) and deep water on the trail reported by the forest service has us looking elsewhere. We were in snowy spots driving around stampede last weekend and it wasn't that much higher than the freeway.

Any area on the west side of the state is possible. It's been about 7 years since my last Cascade backpacking trip, so that's why I'm asking.
I just went backpacking last weekend. We fished three lakes, all between 5500 and 6300 ft. All were snow free and fishing well. Check the trails you are going on with the local ranger station though, because many trails have washouts or rivers/streams that are too high to cross still.
I went over the 4th, so my info is dated, but I was surpized at all the snow above 4500' and the lake at 3500 was ice free, but the one at 4200 was still frozen, except at the outlet. Call the local ranger station and they'll have the best info.


No guarantee about how the fishing will be, but I would try Marmot and Jade Lake, up past Hyas lake...Oh yeah, try Hyas and Little Hyas on the way.

Lots of other choices in the area too. Get a Green Trails Map(s) and pick a blue spot!

If you don't mind company, head up to Snow Lake (trailhead near Alpental) and continue on to Wildcat and one other lake above Snow (if you're feeling spry).

It has been mentioned here before, Dave Shorette (spelling) has a great little book on the Middle Washington Cascades. Get a copy of that for some real good info. I can't remember the title, but someone will probably post the name now.


Flogging the water, one beach at a time.
If you're not familiar already....I'd check out Washington Trails Association at www.wta.org. They have a great collection of "Fresh" trail reports that should give you an idea of what lake basins are still pretty snowy.

I second the suggestion on Marmot Lake if it's free of snow. Many, Many (and I emphasize "many") moons ago it was rumored to have Goldens in it. It definitely had some cutthroat, and just before Marmot Lake is a cut off to Lake Clarice which had a plentiful population of brookies and decent casting room around much of the lake.