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Michael Lake

Backcountry Response Team

Mon Jul 31, 2023 8:30 AM — Fri Aug 4, 2023 3:30 PM

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Snoqualmie Region — Salmon la Sac/Teanaway

Features: Earn Northwest Forest Pass

Crew Leader: Melissa Davis

Michael Lake beneath Goat Mountain Ridge. Photo by Fighting Quaker.


Dig into a variety of backcountry trail work to maintain this less-used route offering access to a series of tranquil, tucked-away lakes inthe popular Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Volunteers on this trip will help the Cle Elum Ranger District keep the Trail Creek and Michael Lake trails open, reviving two trails to help folks explore more of this excellent area.

About the Area

From a bustling trailhead popular for its quick access to the Pacific Crest Trail and high peaks like Mount Daniel, hikers can find relative solitude by taking the route to Moonshine, Michael, and Terence lakes instead.

This trip will take you into the heart of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness to work among the stunning landscape of lakes, meadows, and craggy peaks that characterize this wilderness area.

What to Expect

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

Project Description

The Trail Creek and Michael Lake trails have seen little maintenance but are still sought after by those hoping to leave the beaten path. The Forest Service needs a hand keeping them in good shape to help spread out use in this popular wilderness recreation corridor.

This trip offers a smorgasbord of backcountry trail maintenance tasks, from logout and brushing to intensive tread restoration and drainage projects.

Camping and Hiking Information

  • Type: Backcountry basecamp
  • Location: Camp near Trail Creek junction or near Moonshine Basin.
  • Weather: Be prepared for variable conditions including heat, cold, wind and rain
  • Initial hike to camp: Up to 6 miles with up to 2000 feet of elevation gain 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: Up to 6 miles roundtrip with up to 1000 feet of elevation gain at a moderate pace while carrying your daypack plus tools.


  • Day 1: Meet the crew rain or shine, then hike in, begin work on the project and set up camp
  • Day 2+: Make breakfast and pack a lunch 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. Arrive back in camp by 4:00 or 5:00 PM for a relaxing evening. 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

  • Boots
  • Long pants 
  • Work gloves
  • Long-sleeved shirt recommended
  • Eye protection recommended (glasses, sunglasses or safety glasses)

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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From Seattle, drive east over Snoqualmie Pass on I-90 and take exit 80. Travel north on Highway 903 through the town of Roslyn and past Cle Elum Lake. At Salmon la Sac take Forest Service Road 4330 (Cle Elum River Road) for approximately 13 miles to the Tucquala Meadows Campground, and the trailhead. 

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.

Required Documentation

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Find a ride, give a ride with people who also want to carpool.