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Yelsmik
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Joined: 29 Apr 2007
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PostTue Apr 15, 2008 7:23 pm 
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I was due a long weekend.  The weather report was looking good and Stehekin, having never having been there, was plan A.  We left Sedro-Woolley at 5:45 a.m. on Friday and just made the Lady-of-the-Lake with about 15 minutes to spare.  After shuffling our backpacks, buying tickets, and parking the car we were headed to Stehekin.  As we got settled on the boat, another hiking couple sat next to us and we started talking.  David, a high alpine climbing ranger at Rainer National Park, entertained us during with stories and suggestions.   We assured them that we were not hiking the Chelan Lakeshore Trail, as they were.  We would be camping in town, exploring the area, and day hiking as my husband was recovering from a broken collar bone from his last skiing trip and backpacking was not to be.  Before we knew it, the boat was landing in Stehekin.  We said our good byes and headed up to the ranger station to get a permit to camp.


We set up camp at the Purple Point campground.  We were delighted that we were the only campers.  It was obvious no one had used the camp for quite a while since we had to cut through cobwebs on the outhouse doors.

That night, we explored Stehekin.  We should of rented bikes but ended up walking to Rainbow Falls along the road. 
Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls

During the walk we saw very few people.  Stehekin is pretty much a ghost town this time of year.  When we first saw the location of Purple Point Campground I was worried that it was so close to the road, but I didn’t hear any traffic and it felt like we were in wilderness.

The next morning, we decided to head up the Purple Pass Trail as far as we could get.  We brought snow shoes and ice axes.  We hiked about 2 ˝ miles up to a second crossing of Purple Creek , right after that we were in lots of snow.  We continued up (very carefully) for 2 ˝ more miles to around 5,000’ elevation.  The trail was steep and ice axes were good to have. 
Snow
Snow

The views were incredible.

Purple Creek Trail view
Purple Creek Trail view

The Flick Creek Fire had burned the area two years ago and gave the landscape an interesting character.

Grassy meadows
Grassy meadows

When we got to our turn around time (I was chastised for sleeping in and causing our late 9:00 start), we seemed so close to Purple Pass, but according to the map it was another two miles of steep snow.  At this point, we turned around with a promise to return later this year and finish the hike.  I will look forward to doing so.

On Saturday night we went to the Skehekin Landing Lodge and borrowed the deck to enjoy the evening, we thought we were alone. 
Visitor on the deck
Visitor on the deck

The next morning we packed up our packs and got ready for the boat ride back to Chelan.
We had about 4 hours to wait for the boat, so we headed up the Chelan Lakeshore Trail. What a gorgeous trail this is.  The sun was still shining on this Sunday morning and we hiked about 3 miles in before turning around to catch the boat. 
More flowers in bloom
More flowers in bloom
A few flowers
A few flowers
reflection
reflection

We made it back with time to have lunch at the lodge.  As we were on the boat headed home, the cloud cover was creeping over and that definitely signaled our weekend was over.
View down the lake
View down the lake
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seawallrunner
dilettante



Joined: 27 Apr 2005
Posts: 3214 | TRs
Location: Lotusland
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dilettante
PostTue Apr 15, 2008 7:30 pm 
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your photos are beautiful Yelsmik. what a beautiful trip, and what a gift that you did not have to endure crowds while there. I look forward to returning to Chelan and exploring the Northern part of the lake.
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Ingunn
Hiking Viking



Joined: 01 Feb 2008
Posts: 1755 | TRs
Location: Redmond
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Hiking Viking
PostTue Apr 15, 2008 7:48 pm 
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Beautiful photos - those views are amazing! Great trip report, I'm going to bookmark this one!
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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
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Location: Inexorable descent
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Brutally Handsome
PostTue Apr 15, 2008 8:20 pm 
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Very nice TR.  Not the usual fare.

Yelsmik wrote:
...the location of Purple Point Campground I was worried that it was so close to the road, but I didn’t hear any traffic...

lol.gif Very funny!
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Hiker Mama
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Joined: 25 Jun 2006
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Location: Lynnwood
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PostTue Apr 15, 2008 8:25 pm 
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Beautiful!  It would be neat to experience Stehekin in the off-season.  That area has such a unique character.  Thanks for sharing.
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Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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Location: Cle Elum
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NWH Joe-Bob
PostTue Apr 15, 2008 9:23 pm 
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Very nice.  Thanks. up.gif
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goats gone wild
Mr. Goat



Joined: 19 Aug 2007
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Mr. Goat
PostTue Apr 15, 2008 9:32 pm 
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Looks like a great weekend.  up.gif

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.....leaving me wanting to return over and over in what ever capacity that may be, even if one day my knees are too old and I can only see the mountains from my porch.

Jason Hummel
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Traildad
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Joined: 25 Jan 2008
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PostWed Apr 16, 2008 10:17 am 
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What a great idea to spend a weekend there before the crowds pickup.  Your photos are terrific!
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Bloated Chipmunk
Farblondjet



Joined: 29 Jan 2007
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Location: Margaritaville
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Farblondjet
PostWed Apr 16, 2008 1:08 pm 
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Thanks Yelsmik!  I've been wanting to do a backpacking trip around Purple Pass for years now...just haven't made it over there yet.  Before my time, my parents would schlepp my siblings, some still in diapers,  rolleyes.gif  up/over Purple Pass during multi-day backpacking trips in the Chelan area, utilizing the Lady of the Lake as well.  I've always wanted to reproduce one of their trips, making my own memories of it.  biggrin.gif  up.gif

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Home is where the hiking is. 

"Peaks that have come and gone four times should halt a man in his steps." -- William O. Douglas

A balanced diet is a margarita in each hand.
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Dayhike Mike
Bad MFKer



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
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Bad MFKer
PostWed Apr 16, 2008 1:31 pm 
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Very nice! Welcome to the forums!

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"There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences." -P.J. O'Rourke
"Ignorance is natural. Stupidity takes commitment." -Solomon Short
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bobbi
stillaGUAMish



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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stillaGUAMish
PostWed Apr 16, 2008 2:06 pm 
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welcome!  fantastic TR and pics.  up.gif  up.gif

it's been almost 5 years since i've been to Stehekin.  love it!

thanks for sharing!

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bobbi ૐ

"Today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting.  So…get on your way!" - Oh, the Places You’ll Go! By Dr. Seuss
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swbkrun
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PostSun Apr 20, 2008 6:06 am 
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Very VERY NICE PHOTOS and report!  Thank you!

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2.4 Miles of Hope,  112 of Work, and 26.2 Miles of Truth

www.averymckenna.smugmug.com
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