Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mineral Creek to Glacier Lake, PCT, Spectacle Lake, and out Pete Lake Trail. Sep 18-20, 2022
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Bowregard
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Bowregard
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PostThu Sep 22, 2022 11:00 pm 
I talked my daughter and her friend into taking me along on their 3-day backpacking trip. I was more than a little worried about my fitness level since I spent the last month recovering from our Canadian Rockies trip but oh well – here we go. I always wanted to see this area but the long Pete Lake route was not very appealing (and every Mineral Creek TR seemed to include slide alder, bushwhacking, and wasp stings). But the news that Mineral Creek had been brushed out was enough for me to lobby for the following itinerary: Day1: Mineral Creek to Park Lakes Day2: Park Lakes to Spectacle Lake (add visit to Glacier Lake if energy permits) Day 3: Spectacle Lake to Pete Lake Trailhead. Soon after they agreed I realized that there was a lot of elevation lost driving from the Pete Lake T/H to Mineral Creek T/H which of course meant the Mineral Creek route was going to be a lot more up than I was prepared for “wait for me”. Day 1: Dropped a car at Pete Lake T/H, drove to Mineral Creek T/H, and started hiking around 11AM. The trail was good but quite steep in parts which made for a lot of huffing and puffing on my part and more than a few “wait for me” calls. We reached Park Lakes around 2-2:30 and decided to push on to Glacier Lake since it was still early (I had no breath to argue). Once we left the PCT and reached the overlook I started looking for the trail. My daughter said it continued straight ahead but … that looked more like a cliff than a trail to me. Before I knew what happened they dropped out of sight so I reluctantly followed. A few scraped knees and rolled ankles later we ran into Glacier Lake. The waterfall had dried up but it was beautiful and we set up camp. Since Spectacle Lake was just a short walk down the PCT (more on that later) we talked about continuing to Chikamin Lake in the morning but were not really prepared for what looked like an obvious scramble so we decided to leave that for another trip.
Day 2: Retraced our steps back to the PCT and decided to travel South to take a look at the views over the ridge before heading for Spectacle. A few more “wait for me”s later we retraced our steps back towards Spectacle Lake. Once we passed Park Lakes I began to realize that half of those switchbacks on the topo were going UP not down and that the trail traversed up and over a saddle before dropping down to Spectacle Lake which I was not prepared for (more “wait for me”s). By the time we got to Spectacle Lake my knee was complaining and the girls had complaining ankles too. Spectacle Lake was empty except for one other couple when we arrived so we camped on the isthmus.
Day 3: Long day out through the switchback burn area and forested flats of Pete Lake Trail.
I thoroughly enjoyed this trip and wear my new name with pride (they called me “Billy Goat” for being sure footed on the rocks) so I will thank “Bighorn” and “Gazelle” for the experience … though next time I will spend a bit more time with the Topo before setting my expectations for the trip.

jaysway, runup, olderthanIusedtobe, Tom, awilsondc, contour5, Randito  KascadeFlat
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KascadeFlat
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KascadeFlat
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PostFri Sep 23, 2022 7:35 am 
Nice TR! I was in the area a couple of weeks ago but we came in/out via Pete Lake. We day hiked in to Spectacle and did some sightseeing. We also started towards Park Lakes until we realized there was a ridge in the way 🤣.

For a good time call: 1-800-SLD-ALDR.
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DadFly
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PostFri Sep 23, 2022 8:57 am 
That is a spectacular trip! I have camped on the ridge between Park lakes and Glacier lakes twice. There are ponds up there with water (to filter) when it isn't too dry.

"May you live in interesting times"
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Randito
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PostFri Sep 23, 2022 9:05 am 
Nice! How was the brush going up Mineral Creek?

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Bowregard
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Bowregard
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PostFri Sep 23, 2022 9:42 am 
Randito wrote:
Nice! How was the brush going up Mineral Creek?
I have nothing to compare it to having never hiked Mineral Creek before but the trail was good. I would not hesitate to choose it to visit that area again. We had no issues with brush and no problems following the trail. The first water crossing looked like it could require getting wet earlier in the year and one person in our group did get stung but considering we made the trip to Park Lakes in about 3 hours compared to TRs before the brushout that described a much longer bushwhack I would say the trail is in great shape.

Randito
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fourteen410
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PostFri Sep 23, 2022 1:33 pm 
You can see some pics of how thick the brush used to be in my TR from 2018 I'd love to see pics of what it looks like now. Sadly I wouldn't be surprised if the brush grows back next year. That seems to be the case with past brushings. Still a noble cause - that's some beautiful country out there and looks particularly splendid in the fall.

Bowregard
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GoodStuff
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PostFri Sep 23, 2022 3:25 pm 
I was up there a few weeks ago and the crew that brushed out the Mineral Creek trail did a fantastic job. It was smooth sailing and I bet it'll last for a few years.

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ALW Hiker
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ALW Hiker
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PostFri Sep 23, 2022 4:08 pm 
They brushed out all the avalanche slope areas very thoroughly, where the alder and vine maple are. It's at least 8-9' wide and should last many years. It's less wide in the parts with smaller brush like thimbleberries. In the upper sections where it's just huckleberries they didn't do a whole lot, but the trail was mostly fine in that part anyway. They did remove almost all the blowdowns too. Here are a few photos.

Bowregard, zimmertr  fourteen410
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zimmertr
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PostFri Sep 23, 2022 4:10 pm 
Last month I suffered up and over East Alta with a 45lb pack and now there's a stinking freeway to the Stone Kingdom! Just my luck

Flickr | Strava

mosey
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fourteen410
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PostFri Sep 23, 2022 5:36 pm 
Wow that's incredible, thanks for sharing the photos ALW. May have to plan a trip back there just to experience it sans cheese grater!

ALW Hiker
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Noheaperture
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PostSat Sep 24, 2022 1:28 pm 
yeah, would have liked if they kept it brushy. Im happy to gatekeep a lot of that area personally breakdance.gif

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jaysway
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PostMon Sep 26, 2022 7:11 am 
It sounds like this was a great trip. Good for your daughter and her friend for letting you tag along! Your pictures do a fantastic job capturing how beautiful this place is. I'm still astounded that places so stunning are so close to Seattle.

Bowregard
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Mineral Creek to Glacier Lake, PCT, Spectacle Lake, and out Pete Lake Trail. Sep 18-20, 2022
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