Forum Index > Trip Reports > Crystal Peak/Lakes and a little beyond 08/04/2011
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
tigermn
Member
Member


Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 9224 | TRs
Location: There...
tigermn
Member
PostFri Aug 05, 2011 10:41 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
On such a beautiful day decided to check out Crystal Peak/Lakes. Wondering a little about the lingering snow patch on the Crystal Peak trail.

Crystal Peak/Lakes 08/04/2011
Crystal Peak/Lakes 08/04/2011

After a stop and some minor construction delays east of Greenwater for repaving I was hiking just after 8AM.
Mine and only one other vehicle at the Crystal Lakes/Peak trailhead on arrival about 07:45AM.
Mine and only one other vehicle at the Crystal Lakes/Peak trailhead on arrival about 07:45AM.
Starting up Crystal Lakes trail crossing Crystal Creek just steps from the parking area.
Starting up Crystal Lakes trail crossing Crystal Creek just steps from the parking area.
Starting up Crystal Lakes trail crossing Crystal Creek just steps from the parking area.
Starting up Crystal Lakes trail crossing Crystal Creek just steps from the parking area.

The first 1.25 miles is in the trees and gains 1054 feet to a junction. A couple of sneak peaks of Rainier but the best is yet to come.

First peek of Rainier from lower Crystal Lakes trail.
First peek of Rainier from lower Crystal Lakes trail.
Early views of Rainier from lower Crystal Lakes trail.
Early views of Rainier from lower Crystal Lakes trail.
Early views of Rainier from lower Crystal Lakes trail.
Early views of Rainier from lower Crystal Lakes trail.
Lupine on lower Crystal Lakes trail.
Lupine on lower Crystal Lakes trail.

At the junction I opted for the Peak first heading right.

Trail fork. Straight for Crystal Lakes, Right for Crystal Peak. Crystal Peak explorations first today.
Trail fork. Straight for Crystal Lakes, Right for Crystal Peak. Crystal Peak explorations first today.
Trail fork. Straight for Crystal Lakes, Right for Crystal Peak. Crystal Peak explorations first today.
Trail fork. Straight for Crystal Lakes, Right for Crystal Peak. Crystal Peak explorations first today.

Vanilla leaf along the trail.

Vanilla Leaf plant on trail to Crystal Peak.
Vanilla Leaf plant on trail to Crystal Peak.

At the creek crossing just past the junction they have put in a bridge which wasn't there last year.

New log bridge over Crystal Creek. This wasn't here last year.
New log bridge over Crystal Creek. This wasn't here last year.
New log bridge over Crystal Creek. This wasn't here last year.
New log bridge over Crystal Creek. This wasn't here last year.

After crossing the creek the trail crosses a rocky area before going back in the trees and climbing through the trees.

Trail crosses avalanche area a little past Crystal Creek crossing.
Trail crosses avalanche area a little past Crystal Creek crossing.
Mountains to the W/NW from Crystal Peak trail.
Mountains to the W/NW from Crystal Peak trail.

After a bit some teaser views.

Rainier peaks out on Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier peaks out on Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier peaks out on Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier peaks out on Crystal Peak trail.

Then I came on a more open area and notices most of the trees were snapped about 4-5 feet from the base. Something came through here that wasn't nice.

Snapped trees slope on Crystal Peak trail.
Snapped trees slope on Crystal Peak trail.
Snapped trees slope on Crystal Peak trail.
Snapped trees slope on Crystal Peak trail.
Snapped trees slope on Crystal Peak trail.
Snapped trees slope on Crystal Peak trail.

As you hike you just get more and more views as you duck in and out of tree pockets.

Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Views from Crystal Peak trail.
Views from Crystal Peak trail.
Sunrise Point from Crystal Peak trail.
Sunrise Point from Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.

More flowers started to appear.

Lupine on Crystal Peak trail.
Lupine on Crystal Peak trail.
Paintbrush on Crystal Peak trail.
Paintbrush on Crystal Peak trail.
Flowers on Crystal Peak trail.
Flowers on Crystal Peak trail.

And of course views.

Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Beargrass on Crystal Peak trail.
Beargrass on Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Little Tahoma from Crystal Peak trail.
Little Tahoma from Crystal Peak trail.
Burroughs mountains from Crystal Peak trail.
Burroughs mountains from Crystal Peak trail.
Views from Crystal Peak trail.
Views from Crystal Peak trail.

At a semi open area I noticed I could see up to the "snow patch" that lingers across the trail higher up. I contemplated a cross country route up the gully but it looked a little brushy so I just kept going.

Looking up to snow patch remaining on trail above.
Looking up to snow patch remaining on trail above.
Possible cross country route up the gully to avoid the snow patch (I came down this way).
Possible cross country route up the gully to avoid the snow patch (I came down this way).

Actually the trail really starts to open up to views with just about every step.

Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Peaks from Crystal Peak trail.
Peaks from Crystal Peak trail.

And more flowers.

Lupine and paintbrush on Crystal Peak trail.
Lupine and paintbrush on Crystal Peak trail.
Crystal Peak trail.
Crystal Peak trail.
Flower on Crystal Peak trail.
Flower on Crystal Peak trail.
Crystal Peak trail nearing snag/snow area.
Crystal Peak trail nearing snag/snow area.
Phlox on Crystal Peak trail.
Phlox on Crystal Peak trail.
Snag spot on Crystal Peak trail.
Snag spot on Crystal Peak trail.

After the snag around the corner was the remaining snow.

Last remaining snow patch on Crystal Peak trail. Not too bad but don't slip. Only about 60 feet left to cross.
Last remaining snow patch on Crystal Peak trail. Not too bad but don't slip. Only about 60 feet left to cross.

What is left is only about 60 feet and has a flat spot with some old boot tracks. It was a little icy but I put on microspikes just in case and walked easily across. Just don't slip.

Views from near snow patch on Crystal Peak trail.
Views from near snow patch on Crystal Peak trail.
Views from near snow patch on Crystal Peak trail.
Views from near snow patch on Crystal Peak trail.
Looking back on last remaining snow patch on Crystal Peak trail.
Looking back on last remaining snow patch on Crystal Peak trail.

I looked down the gully wondering how the trip up would have been but continued on.

Semi rare colored paintbrush.
Semi rare colored paintbrush.
Flowers on Crystal Peak trail.
Flowers on Crystal Peak trail.

A couple more switchbacks with views all along the way. I could definitely smell the elk poop and occasionally see it but didn't see any animals.

Looking back on snowfield on Crystal Peak trail.
Looking back on snowfield on Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Looking back down Crystal Peak trail.
Looking back down Crystal Peak trail.
Some cool ridge from Crystal Peak trail.
Some cool ridge from Crystal Peak trail.
Phlox on Crystal Peak trail.
Phlox on Crystal Peak trail.

I arrived at the old lookout site.

Nearing site of old lookout on Crystal Peak.
Nearing site of old lookout on Crystal Peak.
Crystal Peak old lookout site.
Crystal Peak old lookout site.
Crystal Peak old lookout site.
Crystal Peak old lookout site.

The trail turns right and goes up to the true summit. A steeper but easy way and no exposure.

Trail up final bit to actual Crystal Peak summit.
Trail up final bit to actual Crystal Peak summit.

360 degree views from the summit.

Mt. Adams from Crystal Peak summit.
Mt. Adams from Crystal Peak summit.
Mt. St Helens from Crystal Peak summit.
Mt. St Helens from Crystal Peak summit.
Some mountain to the north from Crystal Peak summit.
Some mountain to the north from Crystal Peak summit.
Upper Crystal Lake from Crystal Peak.
Upper Crystal Lake from Crystal Peak.
Rainier from Crystal Peak.
Rainier from Crystal Peak.
Looking down White River valley from Crystal Peak.
Looking down White River valley from Crystal Peak.
Looking down the north slope of Crystal Peak.
Looking down the north slope of Crystal Peak.
Lower Crystal Lake (puddle).
Lower Crystal Lake (puddle).

Some pano shots.

Pano1 from Crystal Peak.
Pano1 from Crystal Peak.
Pano2 from Crystal Peak.
Pano2 from Crystal Peak.
Pano3 from Crystal Peak.
Pano3 from Crystal Peak.

And an attempt at a pano video but you kind of have to move a little to get everything.

I didn't spend a lot of time here as I had the Lakes as the second destination. A few flies but nothing real bothersome.

Rainier from Crystal Peak.
Rainier from Crystal Peak.
View towards Brown Peak from Crystal Peak.
View towards Brown Peak from Crystal Peak.
Views of peak north of Brown Peak from Crystal Peak.
Views of peak north of Brown Peak from Crystal Peak.
Views from Crystal Peak.
Views from Crystal Peak.
Zoom of Mt. Adams from Crystal Peak.
Zoom of Mt. Adams from Crystal Peak.
Rainier from Crystal Peak.
Rainier from Crystal Peak.
Snow hanging on north slope of Crystal Peak.
Snow hanging on north slope of Crystal Peak.

Heading down I made way back to the gully/snow area.

Mt. Adams from near Crystal Peak lookout site.
Mt. Adams from near Crystal Peak lookout site.
Walking down Crystal Peak trail.
Walking down Crystal Peak trail.
View of road from near Crystal Peak lookout site.
View of road from near Crystal Peak lookout site.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail near snow field.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail near snow field.

For fun I decided to try and go down the gully.
My more direct route down near snow field on Crystal Peak.
My more direct route down near snow field on Crystal Peak.
Looks like the trail (zoom) in the distance down Crystal Peak gully.
Looks like the trail (zoom) in the distance down Crystal Peak gully.

It was easier than I thought and while brush present it was about knee high at worst and not sharp. Also I made my way down what were probably various game trails.

Views from Crystal Peak trail.
Views from Crystal Peak trail.
Looking back up from where I came now back on Crystal Peak trail.
Looking back up from where I came now back on Crystal Peak trail.

This with minor switchbacking turned out to be .27 miles and 533 feet descended. It was definitely a short cut (see map).

On the way back I ran into probably 2 dozen trail workers, mostly kids. The man said they are bringing this trail back into the official trail system and were doing maintenance to widen it as over time erosion had shrunk the width.

Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Rainier from Crystal Peak trail.
Trail crews on Crystal Peak trail not far up from creek.
Trail crews on Crystal Peak trail not far up from creek.
Trail crews on Crystal Peak trail not far up from creek.
Trail crews on Crystal Peak trail not far up from creek.
Flowers on Crystal Peak trail.
Flowers on Crystal Peak trail.

I got back to the junction and headed for Crystal Lakes. A nice Rainier view or two shortly up the trail.

Rainier not far up fork now heading to Crystal Lakes.
Rainier not far up fork now heading to Crystal Lakes.
Rainier not far up fork now heading to Crystal Lakes.
Rainier not far up fork now heading to Crystal Lakes.

After a bit you start to get some views of Crystal Peak.

Looking back up to Crystal Peak from Crystal Lakes trail.
Looking back up to Crystal Peak from Crystal Lakes trail.
Looking back up to Crystal Peak from Crystal Lakes trail.
Looking back up to Crystal Peak from Crystal Lakes trail.

A sign greets you at a junction to Lower Crystal Puddle and a couple of campsites.

Lower Crystal Lake junction.
Lower Crystal Lake junction.
Campsites at Lower Crystal Lake (puddle).
Campsites at Lower Crystal Lake (puddle).
Lower Crystal Lake.
Lower Crystal Lake.

After the picture stop I headed up to the main lake.

Views from Crystal Lakes trail above lower lake.
Views from Crystal Lakes trail above lower lake.
Crystal Peak from Crystal Lakes trail.
Crystal Peak from Crystal Lakes trail.
Wow a snow patch (the only one) left on trail to upper Crystal Lake.
Wow a snow patch (the only one) left on trail to upper Crystal Lake.
Crystal Peak from Crystal Lakes trail.
Crystal Peak from Crystal Lakes trail.
Trail heading to upper Crystal Lake.
Trail heading to upper Crystal Lake.

Nearing the lake more flowers.

Paintbrush on trail to upper Crystal Lake.
Paintbrush on trail to upper Crystal Lake.
Paintbrush on trail to upper Crystal Lake.
Paintbrush on trail to upper Crystal Lake.
Paintbrush on trail to upper Crystal Lake.
Paintbrush on trail to upper Crystal Lake.
Anemone on trail to upper Crystal Lake.
Anemone on trail to upper Crystal Lake.
Views from trail to upper Crystal Lake.
Views from trail to upper Crystal Lake.

I popped out at the upper lake.

Arriving at upper Crystal Lake.
Arriving at upper Crystal Lake.

Very scenic. There was someone near the mouth and a large group over to the left. I walked the trail heading left and made way around for more pictures.

Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake.

Last year almost to the date, people were jumping off these rocks and swimming.

Upper Crystal Lake and snow still on rocks on far bank.
Upper Crystal Lake and snow still on rocks on far bank.

I decided to follow the trail that heads up the hill for a ways/maybe a vantage point.

Glacier lilies at Upper Crystal Lake.
Glacier lilies at Upper Crystal Lake.
Anemone at upper Crystal Lake.
Anemone at upper Crystal Lake.
Views climbing above upper Crystal Lake.
Views climbing above upper Crystal Lake.
Views climbing above upper Crystal Lake.
Views climbing above upper Crystal Lake.

Rainier starts to appear.

Views climbing above upper Crystal Lake.
Views climbing above upper Crystal Lake.
Rainier peeking out above upper Crystal Lake.
Rainier peeking out above upper Crystal Lake.
Rainier peeking out above upper Crystal Lake.
Rainier peeking out above upper Crystal Lake.
Views from trail above Upper Crystal Lake.
Views from trail above Upper Crystal Lake.
Views from trail above Upper Crystal Lake.
Views from trail above Upper Crystal Lake.
Views from trail above Upper Crystal Lake.
Views from trail above Upper Crystal Lake.
Views from trail above Upper Crystal Lake.
Views from trail above Upper Crystal Lake.

I didn't go too far and headed back down to find a spot for lunch over on the SE banks past the campgrounds since no one was over there.

Campsite #1 at Upper Crystal Lake.
Campsite #1 at Upper Crystal Lake.
Lake view from near campsite #1 at Upper Crystal Lake.
Lake view from near campsite #1 at Upper Crystal Lake.
Lake view from near campsite #1 at Upper Crystal Lake.
Lake view from near campsite #1 at Upper Crystal Lake.
DSC06884
DSC06884
Campsite #2 at upper Crystal Lake.
Campsite #2 at upper Crystal Lake.
View from near campsite #2 on Upper Crystal Lake.
View from near campsite #2 on Upper Crystal Lake.

I sat just past the 2nd campsite and ate a bug free lunch.

Sitting at the lake at my lunch spot just past campsite #2.
Sitting at the lake at my lunch spot just past campsite #2.
Sitting at the lake at my lunch spot just past campsite #2.
Sitting at the lake at my lunch spot just past campsite #2.
Sitting at the lake at my lunch spot just past campsite #2.
Sitting at the lake at my lunch spot just past campsite #2.
The swim party from my lunch spot just past campsite #2.
The swim party from my lunch spot just past campsite #2.
Upper Crystal Lake from my lunch spot just past campsite #2.
Upper Crystal Lake from my lunch spot just past campsite #2.
The swim party from my lunch spot just past campsite #2.
The swim party from my lunch spot just past campsite #2.
Upper Crystal Lake from my lunch spot just past campsite #2.
Upper Crystal Lake from my lunch spot just past campsite #2.

Unfortunately it was time to head out and I kind of wanted to beat the big group heading out.

Upper Crystal Lake on walk back from lunch spot.
Upper Crystal Lake on walk back from lunch spot.
Cliffs above Upper Crystal Lake.
Cliffs above Upper Crystal Lake.
Upper Crystal Lake from outlet heading out.
Upper Crystal Lake from outlet heading out.
Upper Crystal Lake outlet.
Upper Crystal Lake outlet.

The trip back never goes as fast as you expect but was a nice walk nonetheless. I saw a few people including a ranger heading up.

View from Crystal Lakes trail.
View from Crystal Lakes trail.
Flower on Crystal Lakes trail.
Flower on Crystal Lakes trail.
Crystal Lakes trail.
Crystal Lakes trail.
Paintbrush still not peaking on Crystal Lakes trail.
Paintbrush still not peaking on Crystal Lakes trail.
Crystal Lakes trail.
Crystal Lakes trail.
Lupine on Crystal Lakes trail.
Lupine on Crystal Lakes trail.
Flower on Crystal Lakes trail.
Flower on Crystal Lakes trail.
Ranger heading up Crystal Lakes trail.
Ranger heading up Crystal Lakes trail.

A couple of shots of Rainier.

Rainier from Crystal Lakes trail.
Rainier from Crystal Lakes trail.
Rainier from Crystal Lakes trail.
Rainier from Crystal Lakes trail.

Once at the 1.25 mile junction you start tasting that ice cold Gatorade sitting in the car cooler.

Back to junction for the last 1.25 miles back to car.
Back to junction for the last 1.25 miles back to car.
Lower Crystal Lakes trail.
Lower Crystal Lakes trail.

A couple of Rainier parting shots.

So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodnight to Mt. Rainier.
So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodnight to Mt. Rainier.
So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodnight to Mt. Rainier.
So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, goodnight to Mt. Rainier.
Bridge back to parking lot over Crystal Creek.
Bridge back to parking lot over Crystal Creek.

A lot more cars than the one besides my own when I arrived.

Crystal Peak trailhead parking right off highway 410 at conclusion of hike.
Crystal Peak trailhead parking right off highway 410 at conclusion of hike.

All in all a great day to be in the mountains. Believe it or not bugs were not an issue. A few files but no mosquitoes. Where are they? Last year I got eaten alive. No snow issues to lake but if you circle the lake there is snow on the boulders on the other side. I didn't do it.  Nice views above the lake as well.

Crystal Peak is snow free except for that 60 foot spot lingering on the trail. Might deter some and not a real good way around it (other than ascending/descending the gully directly I guess). I suspect most on NW hikers wouldn't think twice. I may have thought twice but I did cross it and I'm not the most adventuresome type.

--------------
My flickr photo site.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
sarbar
Hiking Momma!



Joined: 28 Jan 2002
Posts: 7783 | TRs
Location: Maple Valley, Wa
sarbar
Hiking Momma!
PostFri Aug 05, 2011 10:51 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
If you keep up the trail from upper Crystal Lake it takes you up to a gap, that connects with the PCT, just North of S. Gap and then onto Sheep Lake smile.gif

--------------
Freezer Bag Cooking, Trail Cooking, Recipes, Gear And Beyond:
http://blog.trailcooking.com/
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
boot up
Old Not Bold Hiker



Joined: 12 Dec 2006
Posts: 4419 | TRs
Location: Bend Oregon
boot up
Old Not Bold Hiker
PostFri Aug 05, 2011 11:02 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
That is one plush looking trail!  They are definitely working that one hard!
Looks like a worthy one to add to the list.

--------------
friluftsliv
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Snorting Elk
Always in the Rut...



Joined: 29 Jun 2011
Posts: 38 | TRs
Location: Puyallup WA
Snorting Elk
Always in the Rut...
PostFri Aug 05, 2011 11:04 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
To add to what sarbar said, a great round trip is to stash a bicycle at the tipsoo lake parking lot (ok to lock to a signpost, etc), then drive down to the Crystal lakes trailhead, leave you car and hike to upper Crystal, take the faint trail leading up to sourdough gap, then conect with the PCT and go back to Chinook pass via Sheep lake, etc.  Then get on the bike and have a nice FAST ride all downhill back to your vehicle.  I have done this and it makes for a fun day!

Todd

--------------
"The Road of Life is always under Construction!"
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
tigermn
Member
Member


Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 9224 | TRs
Location: There...
tigermn
Member
PostFri Aug 05, 2011 11:23 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Snorting Elk wrote:
To add to what sarbar said, a great round trip is to stash a bicycle at the tipsoo lake parking lot (ok to lock to a signpost, etc), then drive down to the Crystal lakes trailhead, leave you car and hike to upper Crystal, take the faint trail leading up to sourdough gap, then conect with the PCT and go back to Chinook pass via Sheep lake, etc.  Then get on the bike and have a nice FAST ride all downhill back to your vehicle.  I have done this and it makes for a fun day!

Todd

That sounds like an fun suggestion. I might just have to try that soon. Yea all downhill!

--------------
My flickr photo site.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
tigermn
Member
Member


Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 9224 | TRs
Location: There...
tigermn
Member
PostFri Aug 05, 2011 9:05 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Just a comparison of two years. You can't really see the trail on the first picture but it was in the brown/non snow spot.

08/06/2010                                             08/04/2011
Views of remnant snow from Crystal Peak trail.
Views of remnant snow from Crystal Peak trail.
Look back at snow slope/crossing from Crystal Peak.
Look back at snow slope/crossing from Crystal Peak.

--------------
My flickr photo site.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Hikingqueen
Member
Member


Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 2949 | TRs

Hikingqueen
Member
PostSat Aug 06, 2011 12:26 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
You sure get in the miles! The bugs were all at Grand Park yesterday! down.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
tigermn
Member
Member


Joined: 10 Jul 2007
Posts: 9224 | TRs
Location: There...
tigermn
Member
PostSat Aug 06, 2011 8:31 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Hikingqueen wrote:
You sure get in the miles! The bugs were all at Grand Park yesterday! down.gif

Well it helps being unemployed...  frown.gif

We were going to go to Grand Park today but heard horror stories of the bugs and the mud and opted for Shriner Peak instead (no bugs to speak of). Turns out it was a wise choice however Grand Park is one of my favorite places.

--------------
My flickr photo site.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Visit poster's website Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > Crystal Peak/Lakes and a little beyond 08/04/2011
  Happy Birthday detekt!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum


   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy