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Trip Report

Glacier Lake — Tuesday, Jul. 3, 2018

South Cascades

We took a lovely, quick overnight trip to this lake. We hiked up the day before Fourth of July, and out on the Fourth of July. On the way up, we saw one group. On the way down, we saw one group heading up. The whole time we were at the lake, however, we had the place to ourselves. 

The road to the official trailhead is washed out. We parked along the spur. There was room for two large-ish vehicles in a wide area just before where the road is closed. (There's a tree across the road and a Forest Service sign at the closure.) 

Just after the washout, the old road splits. Head right for the trailhead. (I, uh, might have led our group astray here. We took a short detour, although we found some daisies and blackberries that our kids enjoyed.) 

The trail itself is in overall good condition. There are just a couple spots where the kids (6 and 8) needed a hand. The trail is steep in places, but never more than our kids could handle. We just took it slow. 

There are few camping spots near the lake. The biggest is the first that you come to. We all stayed in that spot. We had a 3-person tent, a two-person tent and a 1-person tent. They all fit. 

The trail to the lake is a bit faint, because it goes through a lot of tall grass and vegetation and there are a few foot paths. Watch the trail as you walk, there are a few stinging nettles on the way to the lake, although none that we saw farther down at the lake itself. 

The lake is lined with logs, which move around as the wind changes. Our kids enjoyed playing on the lake, but we were careful to keep a close eye on them. 

We found some trash (old propane tank, straps, etc) that had been left behind and packed it out, although we weren't able to get all of it. Perhaps the next party could pack up the old lantern hanging in a tree?

That's all for trip report info. If that's all you needed, as you were. If you want to hear about my goal to backpack every month this year, carry on.


This backpack meant a lot to me. On this trip, some of my very favorite people came with me. I was particularly excited that my friend's son got to take his first backpacking trip. 

Backpacking gives me so much joy, and I love getting to share that joy with other people. There were six of this on this trip: my husband, my daughter, a friend and her son, and another friend (my first friend's brother).

The ratio of four adults to two kids made things pretty easy. We shared gear and took turns keeping the children alive. (Not that the trail was dangerous, but you know, that's our job as parents. Keep the kids alive.) 

I love swimming, so was happy to get a chance to go swimming, even if it was really cold. My daughter, Hazel, was the only other one who went swimming. She's clearly my daughter. Everyone else gave us said the water was "too cold." It was worth it. 

Hazel and my friend's son loved playing in the shallows of the water. They even found a couple frogs. There are also some old bones near the water's edge (deer, maybe?) and the kids were fascinated looking at them. 

Backpacking with a group is a much different experience than going alone or with just one other person. A lot of the tricks I've learned on my solo trips don't really apply with a big group. I need a few more group trips to get it down perfectly. Food is a much bigger challenge with a group, especially with kids who may or may not be into whatever you bring. (Kids, however, are always into berries. At least in my experience. They ate a lot of salmon berries on this trip.)

Backpacking with a group is also a lot of fun. I loved catching up with my friends, watching our kids play and sharing something I love so much with other people.  

Random fun bit of our trip. At one point, after being up at camp, we went back to the lake. While we'd been gone, the lake had become covered in logs that weren't there before. It was fascinating. We figured out that the wind had stopped and the logs that had been pushed to one end of the lake had had a chance to float out and around. Fascinating. 

I'm also really glad my friend suggested this hike after reading my guidebook. I wouldn't have done it otherwise. I thought that, by looking at the numbers in my guidebook (which were more than what are listed here), it would have been too hard for the kids. I was wrong. They surprised me with how capable they were. 

I'm now at 7 months out of 12 backpacking! And I plan to get in another trip this month. Can't wait!