6 Day backpacking trip in Glacier Peak Wilderness (3 days of off trail route)

May 3, 2018

Back in late 2018 I contact MyOwnFrontier(Joey) about doing the Redoubt High Route and he was super interested. Fast forward to game time the weather forecast for the west side was horrific but it was decent on the eastern crest near GPW. So we went with one of the back up routes I had planned. This was possibly one of the most exhausting and physically challenging trips I've ever done.

June 24-30
The trips original route was a 7 day trip.

Camp 1 : Lyman Lakes
Camp 2 : Bannock Lakes
Camp 3 : Canyon Lake
Camp 4 : Image Lake
Camp 5 : Buck Creek Pass
Camp 6 : Napeequa River Valley
Day 7 : OUT over Boulder Pass

Click here to view on CalTopo
Due to weather we had to modify the route and exit a day early. Going into the trip the weather other than Wednesday looked good. But after Wednesday the weather turned on us fast.

Reality we ended up doing...

Camp 1 : Lyman Lakes
Camp 2 : Bannock Lakes
Camp 3 : Forest below Totem Pass (thunder storm sent us on a retreat)
Camp 4 : Miners Cabin (I forgot to mention it was cold and snowing at image lake)
Camp 5 : Buck Creek
Day 6 : Hike OUT

White River Falls.

The road to Phelps Creek TH is still garbage. It was littered with car parts on the way up which I found humorous.

Spider Gap Conditions are similar to that of late to mid july.

Spider Meadows.

Aaron basking in sun.

Ascent begins.

Time to tackle Spider Gap.

At the top of Spider gap.

Looking back at spider gap (left)

Bonanza at sunset.
Day 1 : 10.4 Miles
Net Elevation gain : 4200ft

Next we went to Lyman lake, cloudy pass then bannock lakes. Got to camp after basin along PCT N where the trees form a 'V' or 'Arrow" pointing toward the unnamed ridge/pass. The off trail climb up was tough.

North Star, Lyman Lake and Bonanza Peak

Joey and his new friend.


Sound of Music.

Bannock Lakes still have lots of snow and hard to find a flat spot to camp. Easiest and safest way down from "Character Ridge" (what we called it as it was definitely a character building type climb, especially with a 7 day pack) was to go under Saddle Bow's little off branch knob and start zig zagging down the snow on the rocks. There were some moats but not too many. There are probably LOTS now though.


Day 2: 14 Miles
Net Elevation Gain: 4400ft

Day 3 was my favorite part of the trip was Lower Bannock Lakes to Ross Pass/Hanging Garden. The amount of run off and snow made it kind of challenging and a white-knuckler at times.


As we were approaching Totem Pass a crazy thunder storm rolled in and sent us sprinting down the mountain to the trees. It was also hard to find a flat spot to camp but we found it. At this point with all the wet heather slopes we had to work through we've all fallen down / slipped close to a 100 times.

Day 3 : 4 Miles
Net Elevation Gain : ~2500ft



The next day we got over totem pass in the fog and relaxed at canyon lake for a bit. There was lots of snow on the creek below Totem Pass so we just followed that down to the flat part where we saw a trail that is slowly starting to fade or form in order to go over to the lake. After that it rained hard on and off for basically the rest of the trip. It snowed at Image lake and our camp at Miners cabin. Looked like it stuck on the ridges above image lake but didn't stick at miners cabin. Buck Creek Pass looked like an amazing spot but storms chased us down Buck Creek where we out ran them and were finally able to have a fire and dry all our crap out.

Day 4 : ~10 Miles
Net Elevation Gain : ~3000ft

Day 5 : 16.4 Miles
Net Elevation Gain : 2500ft

Day 6 : 6 Miles
Net Elevation Gain : 600ft



Amazing trip with Joey and Aaron. We are already planning future trips together. Unforgettable experience in some remote areas!
Wow. Great photos. We just drove to the south of there, I was looking at some of those mountains and wondering what it was like.
Unbelievable scenic landscapes and flowers. Great job of trip planning and implementing the plan.

Wish I was doing that hike ! Thanks for sharing.

Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
V four day backpacking trip in southern Utah starting this weekend Trip Planning 4
norwegianxplorer Highest Mountain in Norway, Galdhøpiggen, the start of a 9 day backpacking trip in Jotunheimen national park Backpacking 0
montanaclimber Americans: where was your favorite international backpacking trip? Trip Planning 25
andyjaggy A couple of Backpacking Trip Report Videos Backpacking 0
LarryBoy World's Wimpiest Backpacking Trip Trip Planning 19
D Advice for short backpacking trip in Robbers Roost Trip Planning 2
M Suggestions for a 10 day backpacking trip in early June Trip Planning 8
R Invite Yellowstone Backpacking Trip 7/29-8/3 Meet Up (Members Only) 2
Yvonne first backpacking trip in the Beartooths, early August Trip Planning 13
D Need suggestions for a backpacking trip with a base camp Trip Planning 10
Eugene Suggestions for mid-Nov backpacking trip Trip Planning 2
Eugene Rawah Wilderness Backpacking Trip Backpacking 0
forest dweller Seeking advice for a 5 or 6 night Banff or Jasper backpacking trip for a married couple with different ideas of what awesome is!!! Trip Planning 7
WasatchWill Grove Creek: A Father-Daughter Backpacking Trip Backpacking 8
R First overnight backpacking trip in Utah in the next coupke of weeks Trip Planning 3
Strawsome Favorite 2-3 day backpacking trip. Trip Planning 8
NorthwestWanderer Backcountrypost Washington Backpacking trip Meet Up (Members Only) 5
DuneElliot Trip Report: Backpacking the Uinta Highline Trail, July 2018 Backpacking 6
uintafly Kid Uinta backpacking trip Trip Planning 7
MurrMan81 Help Planning Utah Backpacking Trip Trip Planning 9
N Caltopo map scale for backpacking trip Resource Discussions 7
R 3 - 4 day backpacking trip ideas Trip Planning 13
D April backpacking/car-camping trip Trip Planning 16
Mountain Wanderer First backpacking trip into Orgeon Backpacking 0
r3biker Backpacking trip to Clyde lake in Uintas Backpacking 8
tomcat32 Late May suggestions for 100ish mile backpacking trip Trip Planning 1
Sjhat Wallowa Mountain backpacking trip Trip Planning 1
Shirt357 March 3-4 day backpacking trip? Trip Planning 8
Brian Skibbe 8+ day backpacking trip in the Teton wilderness in May/June. Hunting(small game)/fishing possible? Trip Planning 29
B Yellowstone --- backpacking trip to Shelf Lake Backpacking 6
BryanG Early Season Backpacking Trip into the Uintas Trip Planning 2
Jimmy 3-Day Backpacking Trip w/in 2-3 Hours of Denver? Trip Planning 8
Blake Merrell 1 Year Old's Birthday Backpacking Trip Backpacking 22
J One night backpacking trip with swimming Trip Planning 11
J ISO Partner / Group for Winter Backpacking Trip / Suggestions Trip Planning 0
liam loftus Planning a wilderness area backpacking trip. Trip Planning 5
Kyle P Yellowstone Backpacking Trip Trip Planning 5
steve Invite Salt Creek Backpacking Trip May 22-26 Meet Up (Members Only) 4
Dave B. Spring Backpacking Trip Trip Planning 6
A Memorial Day Weekend 2015 Backpacking Trip - Southern Utah Trip Planning 0
steve Invite Trans-Zion Backpacking Trip April 17-19 Meet Up (Members Only) 5
Parma Dumbest thing taken on a backpacking trip? General Discussion 57
mtthwlw 25 mile backpacking trip ideas needed Trip Planning 8
J History Teacher here planning a backpacking trip for my students to Death Hollow...... Trip Planning 14
E yellowstone Backpacking trip in 2015 Trip Planning 3
steve Tibble Fork to Forest Lake Backpacking Trip Backpacking 18
Cara Not Really Backpacking: Car Camping Trip in virginia. Trip Planning 1
Laura May Kolob backpacking trip w/pixie & Steve Trip Planning 14
Brett 3-Day Backpacking Trip Trip Planning 8
R backpacking trip suggestions Trip Planning 1

Similar threads