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Backpacker Joe
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PostThu Apr 04, 2019 8:37 pm 
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Thanks everyone. Ive been to Surprise/Glacier.  I havent been into Trap.  Good reason as any to go that way.

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Bedivere
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PostThu Apr 04, 2019 10:49 pm 
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It's a nice hike from Hope/Mig onwards. Good views and a very pleasant trail.

There were quite a few people there when I was there, and that was 7 or 8 years ago.  I imagine it's a circus now.

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Backpacker Joe
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PostFri Apr 05, 2019 4:38 am 
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I dont know what its like from the trail head to Hope lake, but I supposed one could drive the old logging road to its end and take the short cut into Susan Jane/Josephine and use that route to get to Mig/Hope. hockeygrin.gif

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Kim Brown
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PostFri Apr 05, 2019 9:06 am 
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It's a mile and a half. Steep in places, but very nice.

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Schroder
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PostFri Apr 05, 2019 9:08 am 
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It's only a little over a mile on a good trail to Hope Lake then an easy downhill stroll on the PCT to Trap Lake. If you go at the peak of berry season it gets crowded.
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Kim Brown
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PostFri Apr 05, 2019 9:50 am 
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I will say that I have done in Tunnel Cr/Trap and out Surprise 3 times and I do enjoy the trails except the steps at the bottom of the Surprise trail. But I’m usually in a hurry to meet my ride out, so haven’t taken much time to enjoy the Surprise trail. BUT the last time was late season, it was a Monday, so no other hikers, no bugs, and the brushy sections weren’t hot as hell; and I did very much enjoy the trail. I was sorry to have been in a hurry; I would have liked to linger more on the flat portion along the river – wow, is that ever nice!

The PCT from Trap Pass down to the lake junction is gorgeous. The forest is stunning, and the switchbacks through the talus offer glimpses of the lakes; it really is beautiful, and lots of big flat rocks to park your fat ass on and enjoy the view.

So I guess I sorta have a love-hate deal with the Surprise Lake trail, though I still think via Tunnel Creek is the fastest way to T Mn Lakes.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Nancyann
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PostFri Apr 05, 2019 10:19 am 
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BPJ if you are talking about the Upper Mill Creek Road as a shortcut to Lake Susan Jane, it’s quite a ride! We did it a couple of times in Triciaann’s jeep a few years ago and it was pretty rough going towards the top. We tried to get Hiking Partner’s little old Toyota Tacoma up there more recently and had to walk the last two miles. High clearance 4WD old beater trucks are the best for it.  agree.gif
That said, I do like that stretch of trail between Lake Susan Jane and Hope Lake, especially nice early season and during berry season. But it takes less than a hour to get up to Hope Lake from Tunnel Creek if you are in good shape.
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Kim Brown
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PostFri Apr 05, 2019 10:51 am 
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I don’t think he has enough information on this, clown.gif  so I’ll add more.

There are lots of pine marten trap hacks in the trees along those trails; about 15 feet up (hence the name “Trap”Lake, I assume). Deep, square holes. I don’t know what those trap boxes looked like, though. While interesting, it’s sad to think of the fate of the creatures within them.

And old maps show Trap Lake as Balloon Lake. I don’t know when the name changed occurred.

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Schroder
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PostFri Apr 05, 2019 11:48 am 
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I'll add some more trivia. Back in the early 80's a plane "crashed" in bad weather near Mig Lake but the pilot managed to stall the plane at just the right moment and set it down gently enough to avoid any damage to the plane or suffer any injury. I'm not sure how he got it out of there.
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Slugman
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Slower than ever
PostFri Apr 05, 2019 12:59 pm 
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Schroder wrote:
It's only a little over a mile on a good trail to Hope Lake then an easy downhill stroll on the PCT to Trap Lake. If you go at the peak of berry season it gets crowded.

Yes, an easy downhill stroll from Hope lake at 4400 ft to the Trap lake turnoff on the PCT at 5400 ft.  hmmm.gif

Beautiful, meadowy, views far and wide, easy, yes, but not downhill.

Wow, it has been almost 13 years since my only visit.  http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=16421

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CC
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PostFri Apr 05, 2019 1:07 pm 
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Nobody goes there anymore, it's too crowded.  But if you insist, the best way to go is Mill Ck Rd to shortcut trail to Susan Jane, then PCT and Icicle Ck trails to Square Lake trail.  Nice scramble from  Square lake to Lower Thunder lake.  You can tag Thor with a little detour on way to Lower Thunder.

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fourteen410
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PostFri Apr 05, 2019 1:20 pm 
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CC wrote:
Mill Ck Rd to shortcut trail to Susan Jane

Make sure you have a vehicle with clearance if you are going to drive that road. It was pretty gnarly a couple years ago.
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ale_capone
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PostSat Apr 06, 2019 6:42 am 
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fourteen410 wrote:
CC wrote:
Mill Ck Rd to shortcut trail to Susan Jane

Make sure you have a vehicle with clearance if you are going to drive that road. It was pretty gnarly a couple years ago.

I have had trouble making it up there in a lifted 4x4. It's kind of a beginner off road drive. Love the kitty litter on slick rock sections.  rolleyes.gif

Did the Josephine >icicle >point Lorraine.  Wondered how hard it would be to scramble the ridge over to thunder.

I've been to thunder lakes a bunch, but generally climbing to a notch in the ridge just south of nimbus. When you pop over the ridge, the lake is right there. I've honestly done it dozen upon dozens of times, but only with snow. I've always wondered how it would go in the summer, because it's one of my favorite routes in the pass area.

Re: the surprise steps... stop looking at the steps and look at the trees;) The surprise creek has never been logged has some nice big trees around. If you look hard enough, you can spot some of the old insulators from the lookout telegraph line. I like the section near the summer log crossing. Many old growth that where blown over in the same direction from some sort of micro burst. Mostly oriented in a north south direction...
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Kim Brown
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PostSat Apr 06, 2019 10:18 am 
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ale_capone wrote:
Re: the surprise steps... stop looking at the steps and look at the trees;) The surprise creek has never been logged has some nice big trees around. If you look hard enough, you can spot some of the old insulators from the lookout telegraph line. I like the section near the summer log crossing. Many old growth that where blown over in the same direction from some sort of micro burst. Mostly oriented in a north south direction...

O like the trees; my knees don't like the steps.

Didn't know about the insulators! Coolistic! That means next time I'm in a hurry to meet my ride at the trailhead, I'll be slower because I'm looking for them, so I'll be late.

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Foist
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PostSun Apr 07, 2019 5:06 pm 
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I have done Surprise Creek at least 6 times and I don't recall there being all that many steps. Are you confusing it with Lake Serene?  Just kidding, I know you wouldn't confuse those, but still I'm surprised at your comment.
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