To reach the trailhead, hikers get to boat up Lake Chelan to Holden Village on the Lady of the Lake, making this one of the more remote trailheads in the state. From the boat landing, hikers and campers pile onto a bus that climbs up steep switchbacks (hang on and close your eyes) to Holden Village, a Lutheran summer camp. The scene is a bit surreal for backpackers, but the summer campers are obviously having a great time.
From Holden Village start hiking along dirt road past the ruins of the old mining town. After a mile there is the Holden camping area and you enter the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Here the road becomes a trail through a rather uniform forest. Bugs can be severe in mid-summer. After another 3.9 miles of gently ascending, well maintained trail you reach Hart Lake. There is no convenient camping between the Holden camp and Hart Lake. There is pleasant camping at the west end of cool, deep Hart Lake.
The trail sticks to the valley floor for the next mile with several high waterfalls in view. There is reasonable camping at Rebel Camp. The trail then gradually switchbacks up the North side of the valley. This section of trail is quite brushy and dusty, but has nice views of Hart Lake, and blueberries in season.
Shallow, emerald green Lower Lyman Lake comes into view 3.2 miles beyond Rebel Camp. The more scenic campsites are on the west side of the camping area. Continue around the lake, up and up to Upper Lyman Lakes, icy and blue under Chiwawa Mountain and the Lyman Glacier, with views up to Spider Gap. Scramblers can pass through the gap to Spider Meadows.
Another option from Lower Lyman is to hike 1.5 miles to Cloudy Pass for flower-strewn meadows and great views, including Sitting Bull Mountain and Needle Peak. A knoll Southwest of Cloudy Pass has an unobstructed view of nearby Glacier Peak. Just below the pass is a gentle mountain stream and established campsite.
- 21.0 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 2774 feet
- Highest Point
- 5983 feet