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Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) - Spectacle Lake to Solo Tarn

Backcountry Response Team

Wed Jun 23, 2021 8:30 AM — Sun Jun 27, 2021 3:30 PM

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Region

Snoqualmie Region — Salmon la Sac/Teanaway

Features: Logout, Earn Northwest Forest Pass

Crew Leader: Gary Zink

The ultimate destination Spectacle Lake. Photo by Nick Wood

Overview

Join us on a trip to the drier side of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. We are working on a section of the PCT between Spectacle Lake and Solo Tarn -- a spectacular part of this iconic trail with views of magnificent surrounding peaks.

About the Area

Few sections of the PCT rival the beauty of the central Cascades. Hike among soaring peaks, alpine lakes and lush meadows. The backbone of the Cascades spreads out before you on the western horizon. This is the dry side of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, where you'll see a wide variety of wildflowers, as well as high alpine meadows, crystal clear creeks and even old-growth forest.

What to Expect

We'll have fun, work hard and make a difference!

Project Description

Annually, the PCT needs a variety of maintenance to keep it open and safe for the thousands of hikers who flock to it. We will remove fallen trees using crosscut saws, prune back overgrown vegetation, widen the tread where it has started to creep down the hill and establish good drainage to slow erosion of the trail. 


Our priority is the section from Specatcle Lake to Solo Tarn. By camping at Lemah Meadows, we have the option of working south toward Spectacle or north toward Solo Tarn based on the priority of the work. This crew is part of a larger project to replace the Delate Creek bridge on the PCT.

Camping and Hiking Information

  • Type: Backcountry basecamp
  • Location:Lemah Meadows
  • Weather: Be prepared for variable conditions including heat, cold, wind and rain
  • Initial hike to camp: 7.0 miles with 500 feet of gain to Lemah Meadows at a moderate pace while carrying your backpack fully loaded with all provisions including camping gear and food, plus tools (provided by WTA)
  • Expected daily hike to project: maximum up to 10 miles roundtrip with 2000 feet of gain at a moderate pace for day trips toward Spectacle or Solo Tarn. 

Schedule

  • Day 1: Meet the crew rain or shine, then hike in, begin work on the project and set up camp
  • Day 2+: Make a lunch and pack up camp before heading out on trail with the crew by 8:00 AM. Work at your own pace, take plenty of breaks and enjoy lunch on the trail. Reach camp by 4:00 or 5:00 PM for a relaxing evening. Set up, prepare your own dinner and swap stories with the crew.
  • Final Day: Break down camp, finish trail project, hike out and say goodbye to the crew at the trailhead

For safety reasons, arriving late or leaving early is not allowed.

Planning Information

Get ready for a challenging backcountry adventure!

What it Takes to Do This Work Party

  • A great attitude for working with a team! WTA provides the training and tools you need for the project
  • Backpacking gear and food for multiple nights on the trail
  • Good physical condition to hike with a fully-loaded backpack and be physically active for about 8-9 hours daily on uneven terrain 
  • Backpacking experience including ability to run your own camp following Leave No Trace principles
  • Day work party experience recommended
  • Flexibility to adapt to changes due to unpredictable weather or land manager requests
  • Minimum age: 18

What to Bring

Please wear comfortable and weather-appropriate hiking clothes and your boots for our hike to camp.

Backpacking gear

  • Backpack to carry all of your gear
  • Tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad
  • Cooking gear and enough food (plus a little extra) for the entire trip
  • At least two 1-liter water bottles and a way to purify your water
  • Rain jacket and rain pants
  • Extra warm clothing
  • Camp clothing such as shorts, shirt and sandals
  • Sun and bug protection
  • Headlamp and extra batteries
  • Personal items such as medication, hand sanitizer and toiletries
  • ​First aid kit
  • A sense of fun and adventure for learning new skills and meeting great people!

Trail work gear

  • Boots
  • Long pants 
  • Work gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt recommended
  • Eye protection recommended such as safety glasses
  • WTA hard hat (provided, unless you have one)

For safety reasons, shorts and sneakers are not allowed while working. Firearms and weapons are not allowed.

More Information

From the Hiking Guide

See what WTA's hiking guide and trip reports say about this area.

A My Backpack account is required. You will be asked to register or log in before you can join.

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Directions

From Seattle take US I-90 eastbound to exit 80, Rosyln/Salmon La Sac. Turn left on Bullfrog Road and follow for 2.8 miles. At this traffic circle take the second exit onto WA-903 N/Salmon La Sac Road. Follow WA-903/Salmon La Sac road for 15.5 miles from the traffic circle, going through the towns of Rosyln and Ronald. Turn left on Forest Service Road 46 (Cooper Lake Road) toward Cooper Lake. Cross the Cle Elum river and proceed 4.7 miles to Cooper Lake junction. Turn right onto Cooper Lake Road #4616 and continue 1 mile to the trailhead, trail #1323.

Note: Please follow the written directions above instead of using a GPS device. This will ensure that you get to the correct meeting location for this work party. The location of the pinpoint below is only approximate.

Getting to WTA work parties can involve travel on rough, unpaved roads in areas without cellular service and without street addresses that can be accurately used by navigation devices. Unless specifically noted otherwise, routes can generally be traveled by all types of vehicles. Volunteers with limited experience driving on unpaved mountain roads may want to allow extra time, beyond what is recommended in the directions above, to get to the meeting location.

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