Always looking for new adventures in the North Cascades I had heard for years about this loop. Its about 40 miles and covers some very striking terrain. The Glacier Peak Wilderness in in the North Cascades of Washington State, nestled between Highway 2 (Stevens Pass Highway) and Highway 20 (North Cascades Highway) its one of the most rugged parts of the state. We did the loop in 6 days and here are a few pictures!
We hiked the first day about 5 miles to Spider Meadows. There were many people camped here (it was on a Saturday) but not hard to find a wonderful camp in the endless green meadows. The sky was filled with wonderful clouds…
The next days hike took us up steep switchbacks above the valley, to the narrow defile of Spider Gap.
And then onto, up and over Spider Glacier. As we gained elevation the clouds got thicker. And when we reached the top the rain and hail started.
We donned rain gear and slid down the glacier on the other side, towards Upper Lyman Lake.
The sky was very dark and as we made our way down through the rain we encountered another hiker, who passed us by, on the same loop as us. Our paths would cross several times on our hike. His name was Steve and he had hiked more trails and miles in the North Cascades than anyone I had ever met.
The stark beauty of the valley captivated me and we dallied, wishing for clearing skies…
Soon our wishes were answered and the sun came out to greet us. The rocks and gray-green water of the lake were like a magnet for me.
Reluctantly we left and trekked down through some wonderful grasslands towards Lyman Lake.
On the way we passed a perfect spot to camp, and so stopped to lolly-gag in the sun while we got our wet gear dry. We had perfect views of Lower Lyman Lake and Cloudy and Bonanza Peaks.
The next day took us down into the forest and back up to Cloudy Pass. We could look back and see where we had crossed through Spider Gap.
Our trail took us over Suiattle Pass and along Miners Ridge and then down to a river crossing. Here our path was along the Pacific Crest Trail and we must have met more than a dozen thru-hikers, all hurrying along to complete their 2,400 mile quest.
Buck Creek Pass was another highpoint of the trip. From here a trail climbs and rounds Liberty Cap as it heads towards High Pass.
We camped here, with magnificent views of Glacier Peak.
The stars at night was alive.
Early the next morning we made our way along a wonderful ridge to High Pass. Here we could get a glimpse of the barren rocks and snow around Triad Lake.
Making it back to our camp we gathered our stuff and hiked back to the car. The wildflowers along the trail down from Buck Creek pass were beyond compare!
All in all one the most satisfying loop treks I have done in Washington!
20 thoughts on “Glacier Peak Wilderness: Spider Meadows – Buck Creek Pass Loop”
Wow. Several of these pictures are absolutely breathtaking. Once again, you’ve made me want to hop in my car and come west!
Ha! That is my secret plan!
Absolutely beautiful photos, Andy! Looks like you had a great trip, inspite of the rain.
yes, sorry for not getting back to you sooner…your advice was perfect, we did not need any thing to cross the gap and it only rained half of one day, not bad! What’s your email?
No problem Andy. it’s email@example.com
I really enjoyed this post, made me feel like I came along for the ride (sorry walk). Beautiful shots, the vistas are breathtaking.
Glad you enjoyed the hike!
your pictures are fantastic!!! the landscape too…
Thanks for sharing Randy. Your adventures are inspirational and your photos are, as always, fantastic.
Andy.. sorry. 😉
Thank you, Martin!
!!!!! Your posts are always amazing, but sometimes…!!!!
Glad you like them!
Thanks for the trail beta Andy, and the gorgeous pics. My friend and I plan to do this loop next week. Looks amazing!
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Often amateur photographs of the mountains are not visible prospects. And your shots just fails – bang and you’re there, on the spot! Just fantastic! Cool!
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Did you ever get to visit Image Lake?
No! I didn’t make it there. What about you, did you get any great pics there?