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tris
tris



Joined: 06 Aug 2019
Posts: 6 | TRs
Location: maple valley, wa
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tris
PostMon Sep 02, 2019 4:59 pm 
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We set off on the Buck Creek Pass Loop last Tuesday to celebrate 20 years of marriage, marking one kind of epic journey with another.

We did the loop clockwise, starting at the Trinity Trailhead.  The lot was not too full and we only passed a few people heading out from Buck Creek Pass in the morning.  The bridge was a ramshackle but crossable.  And the burn zone had a mysterious beauty about it.  The best spot up at the Pass was taken and water could only be found if you went way down to the stock camp and then right into the meadow below and even then it was just a trickle.  We explored Flower Dome but most of its vibrant flora had already faded and it was completely dry.  After much contemplation we left the incredible views of Glacier Peak back at the pass and pushed on to Middle Ridge venturing a mile off the beaten path to a camp spot in the meadow surrounded by amazing views and babbling brooks.  It was in the Middle of no where and it was amazing.

Day 2 we hopped back on the main trail and up towards Suiattle Pass, jumping off at the Miner's Ridge turn-off towards Image Lake.  We dropped our packs at Lady Camp which boasts more incredible views of Glacier Peak and the surrounding mountains and then day hiked to Image Lake.  The camp spots down below were only half full but they all lack the epic views we had found back at Lady camp.  So, we lunched by the lake and then meandered back that way.

We had run into a hiker and his donkey back at our Middle Ridge meadow, who was not too pleased to be sharing the wide open wild with us.  At around 4pm we heard the familiar jingle of his loyal companion's bell and saw him saunter down the path.  Once again he was pretty upset that we were where we were so we picked up and left him to the solitude he was trying so hard to find.  After another five miles or so we made it to Cloudy Pass.  And we were so glad we had pushed on.  The views here were my favorite throughout the whole loop.  There is no water up at Cloudy Pass but a stream was flowing just below us so water was easy to gather.

After two extra long days on the trail we decided to cut our trip a night short and just hiked all the way out on our third day.  There was quite a bit less snow through the gap than we experience years prior around this time of year.  But, we approached the gap before the sun hit it so we were glad to have our Yaktrax and poles.  When it wasn't icy it was super slushy and large crevices splayed open on the back side leading down towards Spider Meadow.

That last leg of the trip down the dirt road from Phelps to Trinity was not fun. But, we were glad we were hiking down it with lighter packs and not up with freshly stocked up gear.  We passed a few groups heading the other way to start their grand adventures.  Luckily their feet were fresh:)

Black flies were a little pesky on the Buck Creek side of things and we came home with several mosquito bites.  But a lovely breeze shared most of the trail with us so they were never bad.

Loved doing this hike clockwise and ending with Cloudy pass, the Lakes and the Meadow rather than a dry and dusty Buck Creek.  Such an amazing hike.

Lots of pics and meanderings at...

https://ourdirtpaths.wordpress.com/2019/09/02/the-sweetest-of-spots-buck-creek-pass-loop-clockwise-august-2019/

--------------
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. ~ John Muir
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Damian
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Joined: 18 Dec 2001
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PostMon Sep 02, 2019 5:13 pm 
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Honest and humble.  Great report.  Great route. 👍🏿
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mbtigger
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Joined: 14 Apr 2011
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Location: Sucking the dry air
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Sherpa Da
PostMon Sep 02, 2019 8:21 pm 
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Thinking of doing this next week if the weather looks OK. I was going to do it counter clockwise, but your post has me thinking.....
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altersego
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Joined: 22 Jun 2015
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Location: Seattle
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PostMon Sep 02, 2019 9:25 pm 
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Congrats on 20 years and a great trip!
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drm
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Joined: 24 Feb 2007
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Location: The Dalles, OR
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 8:50 am 
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You said the spots below Image Lake were in the trees, but this is where I camped.

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