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Day 125 – August 6, 2022

Mile 2420.9 to 2447.2 (Deception Lakes)

26.3 trail miles | 26.8 tracked miles | 4,777 ft elevation gain | 77 F / 25 °C

I woke up before dawn and spent a long time watching the sunrise with a hint of nostalgia. I will miss these magical moments when I am back home, even though I am not a morning person in real life!

Sunrise in the Alpines Lake Wilderness

The morning began with a vertiginous 2,300+ foot descent down to Waptus Lake. The rising sun ahead was not ideal for photos, so for the reader’s benefit, here are a few shots from my 2020 hike!

Waptus Lake at dusk (photo from summer 2020)

I took a short break near the lake, and saw a bear for the first time ever in Washington. He bolted as soon as he noticed me.

This is not a bear.

From Waptus Lake, the trail started ascending back up towards Cathedral Pass. The gentle, flat walk through the lush valley near Deep Creek offered an enjoyable reprieve from the climb.

Scenery near Deep Lake

I had lunch by the soothing and gently flowing Deep Lake outlet. It was a moment of pure bliss and serenity. I noticed another hiker on the opposite side of the creek, and I felt like he was trying to draw my attention, but I didn’t feel like being social and wanted to enjoy the serenity of the moment in solitude.

Deep Lake outlet/Spinola Creek

After three miles and a healthy number of switchbacks, I reached Cathedral Pass, which is named after the vaguely cathedral-shaped rock that dominates the landscape. It takes a fair amount of imagination to see a cathedral, but it’s still an impressive sight.

Cathedral Rock

From Cathedral Pass, I enjoyed a glimpse of the deep blue hues of the aptly-named Deep Lake.

Deep Lake

I decided to hike another 10 miles to Deception Lakes, leaving just 18 miles to Stevens Pass tomorrow.

Stream feeding the Cle Elum river

Past experiences led me to believe that Deception Lakes were named after thru-hikers who naively hoped to find a camping spot, only to realize that section hikers and weekenders had commandeered every square foot. Expecting the worst crowding on a Saturday evening, I didn’t take any chances and set up camp at a more remote site near Daisy Lake, a few hundred yards away from Deception Lakes. It’s not glamorous, but it’s private, and I’m alone!

Daisy Lake

I took a quick dip and somehow escape unscathed from the mosquitoes. Tomorrow, I expect to reach Stevens Pass in the afternoon.

Backcountry camping near Daisy and Deception Lakes

The Big Picture

3D path
3D video

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