Three Day Backpacking Trip Ideas

5-10 miles (basecamp options):

Lake Valhalla – 7 mi RT, or car shuttle 10mi, 1500′ elevation (Stevens Pass East)

Summit Lake – 6.1 mi RT, 1300′ elevation (NW Mt. Rainier area) – crappy road access

Packwood Lake – 10 mi RT, 600′ elevation (South Cascades) – potential to continue to other lakes

Deep Lake – 5 mi RT, 900′ elevation (South Cascades) – potential to connect with other lakes for multiple days

Skyline Divide – 9 mi RT, 2500′ elevation (Mt. Baker area) – really crappy road access – must carry water

Yellow Aster Butte – 7.5 mi RT, 2600′ elevation (Mt. Baker area) – must pack out poop – very popular trail

10-15 miles:

Mother Mountain Loop – 15 mi RT, 6300′ elevation (NW Mt. Rainier area) – permits requiredtoo much elevation

Flapjack Lakes via North Fork Skokomish River – 15.4 mi RT, 3000′ elevation (Olympics) too much elevation

Lower Big Quilcene River – 12.9 mi RT, 1900′ elevation (Olympics)

  • Camps at 2.6, 4.7, and 6.2 miles (map – pdf)
  • Able to make it a through-hike by doing a car shuttle up FS #2750 (Ten Mile Shelter)
  • Can continue past 6.2 miles to the Upper Big Quilcene River (Marmot Pass is 11 miles roundtrip from Ten Mile Shelter) – first 2.5 miles is old growth to Shelter Rock Camp

Meander Meadow – Dishpan Gap – Cady Ridge Loop – 16 mi RT, 5600′ elevation (Stevens Pass East)too much elevation

Lake Janus and Grizzly Peak – 16.6 mi RT, 2500′ elevation (Stevens Pass East)

Thunder Mountain Lakes – 14.5 mi RT, 3000′ elevation (Stevens Pass West) too much elevation

Spider Meadow and Phelps Basin – 13 mi RT, 1900′ elevation (Stevens Pass East)

Ancient Lakes – 12 mi, 600′ elevation (Central Washington)

Blue Lake via Cultus Creek – 13 mi, 700′ elevation (South Cascades)

Bird Mountain Loop – 10 mi RT, 1875′ elevation (South Cascades)

Walupt Lake – 15.3 mi RT, 1650′ elevation (South Cascades)

Over 20 miles (vetoed):

Eastside Loop in Mt. Rainier area / Sunrise

Cooper Ridge Loop in Mt. Baker area

Sawtooth Lakes Loop in North Cascades

North Fork Entiat River in Lake Chelan area

Goat Creek Loop in Mt. St. Helens area

Hoh River Trail to Elk Lake in Olympics

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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