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buckeye25osu
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 11:55 am 
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Hello all.  In early September a group of 4 of us have 8 full days to backpack Washington, leaving from Seattle.  I've read about the Spider Gap Buck Creek Pass Loop.  We're thinking of doing that trail in 5 days and then another for the remaining 3.  This is advantageous as it allows us to carry a max of 5 days of food instead of 8 and also would allow us to possibly end our first trip somewhere with a shower and "real" food.  With that said, what are some recommendations for a 3-day (2 night) trip that works logistically well?  In other words, if you had 8 days to hike that loop plus something else how would you break it up?  I'd love to hear your suggestions.  Thank you so much.

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/spider-gap-buck-creek-pass-loop
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 12:51 pm 
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Are you looking for something close by Buck Creek-Spider Gap, or is driving time not an issue?

For nearby, some good options.  You could go right back up the trail toward Spider Gap briefly, take the spur to Carne Mountain and then the High Route and drop in to Ice Lakes, do some peak bagging in the Entiats.

White River trail to junction w/ Boulder Creek/Boulder Pass.

Cady Ridge or Cady Creek to intersection w/ PCT, then north on the PCT however far you feel like going before turning around.  That wraps around the west side of Glacier Peak (you'll be seeing the north and east face from your bigger loop trip) and has some fantastic high meadowy ridge sections.

Could try to score day of walk up permits for the Enchantments at the Leavenworth Ranger Station.  Or if you don't want to deal with crowds and permits/quotas, numerous options on the other side of the Icicle Creek Valley in the Chiwaukums.

Those are all relatively close to your main destination and also reasonably close if you wanted to head into Leavenworth for a night at a hotel and a meal.  I don't know how close to being booked the hotels are likely to be during the week.  I'd guess on a weekend, forget about it.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 12:57 pm 
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Rereading the OP, I'm guessing you'd want to not be going in the opposite direction away from Seattle after your first outing.  Heading west on Hwy 2 you could go up the Foss River Rd.  Both West and East Fork of the Foss are interesting backpacking destinations that could definitely absorb a 3 day trip.  Maybe even the classic link up/loop with both forks.  Some off trail and route finding involved.


Just a friendly local tip, you DO NOT want to be driving Hwy 2 westbound on a Sunday.  It backs up for miles and miles, it sucks.
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buckeye25osu
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 1:37 pm 
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Thank you so much for the tips.  I'd prefer to limit the driving somewhat.  Would love to do something like head to Olympic Nat. Park but that might just be a bit too much.  Probably something nearby to where we finish is best, but it if it can offer something new or different that would also be great.

Basically we want to spend 8 days among some of the best backpacking in the area smile.gif

Our last day on the trail will be a Saturday with a stay near SeaTac Saturday night for a flight home Sunday morning.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 2:06 pm 
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Saturdays aren't as bad for driving westbound as Sundays (all the Westsiders returning home at the end of the weekend).

The other option that would work fairly easily logistically, instead of sticking to the Hwy 2 corridor you could go a little south to I-90 and return to Seattle that way.  That would give you access to the Teanaway, a bunch of stuff up around Lake Cle Elum, and the Snoqualmie Pass area.
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Foist
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 2:17 pm 
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Older's suggestions are great.  So many other great backpacking trips in that area that it's probably not worth trekking to somewhere far like Mt. Baker or the Olympics, unless you really want a broad "sampler."  I second the Carne High Route to Ice Lakes as a stupendous trip, although I don't know if you want to drive all the way back to that same trailhead again.  (In case you hadn't discovered in your research on Spider Gap loop, it is a VERY long drive on very rough roads to get there, especially the last section on Phelps Creek.)

With 3 days, you could do a loop with Cady Ridge and Little Wenatchee River, with a side trip up the PCT to White Mountain with its in-your-face view of Glacier Peak.  That would be an unbeatable trip.

Another option near that part of Route 2 is Marmot and Jade Lakes via Deception Creek.
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contour5
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PostWed Aug 07, 2019 10:07 am 
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Iíd recommend that you extend the spider buck loop. The spider buck loop is fine by itself,  but it passes fairly close to several very nice areas. Strongly recommend continuing over cloudy pass to Minerís Ridge Lookout and image lake . Also well worth your time to visit High pass and triad lake from Buck Creek Pass.
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Foist
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PostWed Aug 07, 2019 10:09 am 
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Also Bannock lakes.  Or, in 8 days, you could probably do a circumnavigation of Glacier Peak, that would be pretty cool.  But the OP said he was not keen on doing an 8 day trip in one bite because of the amount of stuff they would have to bring.
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buckeye25osu
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PostWed Aug 07, 2019 1:37 pm 
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Contour5, we do plan on going out to Image lake and back as part of the loop.

Foist, appreciate those suggestions as well.  I haven't ruled out staying out all 8 days (or 7) but carrying that much food may be difficult.  GF and I were hoping to fit 5 days worth in one BV500, and not have to carry a second canister, but we shall see.

I love all of these suggestions.  I will get busy looking at the mapping in GaiaGPS soon and I'll be sure to let you all know how the trip goes after.  This is a wonderful forum. Thanks all.
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Foist
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PostWed Aug 07, 2019 1:54 pm 
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If you do the circumnavigation, most logical place to start is the White River trailhead.  White River trail to Boulder Pass, then up the Napeequah valley to High Pass (this last part is basically off-trail, so research directions and be prepared for navigation), High Pass to the PCT via Buck Creek Pass, PCT around the north and west sides of Glacier Peak (with possible side trips to Image Lake and Grassy Point), and finally, down the Indian Creek trail back to your car.  That last part is important.  You might see some maps that have the White River trail going all the way up to White Pass.  By all accounts the trail is virtually *non-existent* between the Boulder Pass junction and White Pass.  Indian Creek is brushy but doable.  Some years, there is a steep snow field at High Pass that never melts and requires an ice axe; this year, I'm guessing it's avoidable, but check trip reports.
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Hutch
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PostWed Aug 07, 2019 2:57 pm 
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buckeye25osu wrote:
Contour5, we do plan on going out to Image lake and back as part of the loop.

Foist, appreciate those suggestions as well.  I haven't ruled out staying out all 8 days (or 7) but carrying that much food may be difficult.  GF and I were hoping to fit 5 days worth in one BV500, and not have to carry a second canister, but we shall see.

I love all of these suggestions.  I will get busy looking at the mapping in GaiaGPS soon and I'll be sure to let you all know how the trip goes after.  This is a wonderful forum. Thanks all.

If canister weight is the deciding factor you can bring a rope for hanging food instead of a canister. There certainly are bears in this region but conflict with them is extremely rare, and canisters are not required. I've gone several times with a rope for hanging in the evenings and never had an issue.

To be fair this is a comfort thing so no judgement if having a canister makes you feel more secure. It is nice to not have to spend time every night looking for a good tree branch.
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buckeye25osu
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PostTue Aug 13, 2019 12:29 pm 
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Thanks again everyone.  I'm trying to figure out how one gets to high pass/high pass trail.  It appears these may be unmarked on the online tools I use.  What's the best map for this area (the spider meadow loop and side trails)

Thank you
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contour5
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PostTue Aug 13, 2019 12:36 pm 
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High pass is a short climb to the south west of Buck Creek Pass. I mostly use the Greentrails map, sorry canít remember which one, Holden, maybe.
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Foist
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PostTue Aug 13, 2019 1:03 pm 
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See here.  I recommend caltopo, by the way.
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buckeye25osu
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PostTue Aug 13, 2019 1:20 pm 
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Thanks Contour and Foist.  I usually use Gaiagps and their online map tool because i can trace routes easily but having trouble with that trail.
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