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Trip Report

Wagonwheel Lake, Cub Peak — Sunday, Sep. 10, 2017

Olympic Peninsula

The road out to Staircase is in good shape. A bit washboardy, not bad. I've seen it a lot worse. Campsites were full but the overflow parking area was great. Easy to find a spot and I felt this was one of few TH parking areas on the east Olympics that car security was a thing. I was parked and on the trail quick.

Wagonwheel Lake
It's steep so come prepared to sweat and hike wet. Heading up early morning the temps were high 50's which made at times temp management an issue. I felt chilled but adding layers wasn't happening with this level of gain. I'd take the occasional break to try and dry out, but the majority of the hike is in the shade of trees. Also, the chute is extremely overgrown, wet from dew & full of berries right now. Even on the return trip early afternoon I came out of the chute mostly soaked.

The trail up is varied. There are several rocky/rooty sections. I sported my flexible/breathable speed hikers which got the job done, however there were definitely times I wish I would have brought my lightest boot with a stiffer sole.

Once I arrived at the lake I took a short break for a snack and re-hydrate. The lake itself lacks that wow factor but I think Wagonwheel gets a bad rap. I found it to be a peaceful place to relax. Watching the clouds crest the nearby ridge and fall onto the water kept me amused. Not the ugliest!

Cub Peak
From Wagonwheel head out and up NE. You will find a faint even steeper trail that's mostly overgrown and not maintained. At times it will be hard to follow and it will disappear once you gain the connecting ridge. My approach to the summit continued NE via the ridge. To continue some scrambling experience from this point is recommended, there is some exposure. For the easiest(not likely with snow/ice, much harder) approach drop down the east side to the meadow area, trek across a rock/scree filled chute, then summit from the far NE side(scrambling SW). The summit boasts one of the best 360 views I've seen in the east Olympics. Mount - Copper, Ellinor, Washington, Pershing, Cruiser, Lincoln all visible. I could also see where hikers drop into Mildred Lakes and up to Lake of the Angels.

Cub Peak ridge.
Chicken of the Woods?!!!! o.O


Posted by:

jlaatsch on Feb 06, 2018 08:30 AM