Chain Lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness

By Forrest Smith -

The Chain Lakes have always been on my radar. I always assumed that I would approach from Leavenworth and Icicle Creek, but I realized that I could easily get there from Stevens Pass as well. The first couple miles of the route from Stevens Pass is through a ski area and crosses under powerlines, so that less-than-pristine beginning, along with the fact that I already hiked the first four miles or so when we did the PCT I guess have contributed to me overlooking coming in from that direction. Once you get past the powerlines, which are two miles from the trailhead, the scenery gets beautiful, passing by Lake Susan Jane, and then Josephine Lake.

Josephine Lake

Josephine Lake is probably too popular of a destination to count on camping at — unless you’re there during the week. Quite a few people around, which does make sense since it’s a beautiful lake.

Josephine Lake - Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Josephine Lake

Consulting the map

Our little one was worried we would get lost, so he drew us a map. We made sure to pull it out occassionally to check our location and make sure we were headed in the right direction. 

Chain Lakes

The climb up to Chain Lakes from the Icicle Creek Trail is pretty steep in spots, but it’s also short. We were happy to get our first glimpse of the Chain Lakes Basin.

Chain Lakes and Bulls Tooth

We made it to the lakes late in the day and had to scamper around for quite a while to find a place to pitch a tent.

Hiking above Chain Lakes

Chain Lakes and Peak

The last of the light on the peak behind middle Chain Lake 

A Smoky Morning

It was a smoky summer in the Pacific Northwest. We arose to smoke filled skies, but it somewhat added to the scene.

Sun coming up in the Chain Lakes Basin

The sun coming up over the ridge.

Coffee in a meaow

A little latte in the meadow

Chain Lakes

I need more mornings to begin this way