West Fork Foss River and Lakes
Jun 03, 2012
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: West Fork Foss River and Lakes
- Region: Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
- Agency: Skykomish Ranger District
- Trails: West Fork Foss River (#1064)
- Avg Rating: 3.62
- Hiking Companions
- Hiked with a dog
- Be Aware Of
- Water on trail
- Snow on trail
Things get a little steeper after Trout Lake, but the trail is easy to follow and the views of waterfalls, valleys, etc. are great. There were a couple snowy patches, but nothing I couldn't stomp through in my running shoes.
At mile 3 (or possibly 3.5) things get tough. The river waterfalls across the trail and there is nothing but snow from here on out. My fellow hikers all had hiking boots, but I wouldn't have continued if friends hadn't lent me some yaktrax and hiking poles. (Thanks friends!)
The river (see photo) was a little sketchy, but quite possible to cross. Your shoes will get wet but you won't be swept downstream or anything (I hope). Don't be afraid of the bridge on the other side of the river. It looks frighteningly narrow from the trail, but it's not so bad once you reach it (see photos).
The rest of the trail is completely covered in snow. I wouldn't attempt a trip to Copper Lake unless you have mad skills in the finding-the-trail-in-the-snow arena. I do not posses that skill set, but luckily one of my companions did. After a bit of wandering around (including trekking across some not-so-safe snow banks where sliding and post hole possibilities were numerous) we found the frozen pond and Copper Lake beyond. There are great sledding opportunities above the lake if you are so inclined.
Overall, a great hike! Took us eight hours, but we spent at least three hours hanging out at the lakes. Plus I'm five months pregnant, which may have slowed things down a bit.
For more travel, running and hiking tales from Denver to China, check out my blog at http://runningthroughthisworld.com