Sheep Lake and Sourdough Gap
Oct 06, 2010
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Sheep Lake and Sourdough Gap
- Region: South Cascades -- Chinook Pass - Enumclaw or Hwy 410 area
- Agency: Okanogan and Wenatchee National Forests, Naches Ranger District
- Avg Rating: 3.00
- Hiking Companions
- Hiked with a dog
- Why You Should Go Now
- Fall foliage
This trail is obviously popular for horseback riding as there was plenty of "signs" scattered around the trail. If your dog is like our lab, they might think these are tasty treats so keep an eye out.
The trailhead has to be the easiest to find of any we've hiked yet, and although there are plenty of side trails and game trails, it's pretty easy to find which way to go.
We took a quick break at Sheep Lake, which was clear as a bell, but showed no signs of it's namesake. A quick dip for the pups and back to business!
From the lake it's an easy stride on a gentle incline through meadows that must have been stunning last month, but all of the foliage has gone to seed. The huckleberries are still beautiful, but if you're looking for berries, you'll need to go to the store.
The moderately difficult part of the hike comes when you reach the base of the spine. This is where the majority of the elevation gain is achieved in a short distance, but shouldn't insurmountable for most.
Upon reaching the gap (it'll be pretty obvious when you are there) you can look down the back side of the spine or turn around to survey your handywork.
Off to the left there is a small trail the follows the bowl around to a viewpoint to look down on Crystal Lake and up at Mount Rainier. From the gap it looked like part of it may have washed out, and as we were already running out of daylight, we decided to head back.
All in all, a great day hike! Almost no mud, very few bugs, and plenty of sunshine! Do make sure to wear some good, sturdy shoes, as the trail gets pretty rocky in places.