Island Lake Alpine Lakes Wilderness WA

12:58 a.m. on September 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Wife and daughter picked a place closer to home this time and a little more elevation gain for our 2nd overnight.  The trailhead was about an hour away from Tacoma.  We arrived at the trail head around 9.  Not so many cars in the parking lot so things looked good for the start of our trip.  We started up the trail of lazy switch backs towards Talapus Lake which would be our first stop.  The trail was well maintained and in the shade so the going was fairly easy.  About an hour in we got to Talapus Lake and had our first break.  The day hiker crowds started to show up so we moved on up the trail.  the higher we went the less people we saw till we came up to the Pratt Lake Junction.  From there we could see south all the way to Mt. Rainier.  Things got a little steeper  as we crossed a number of small talus fields and sharp switch backs.  Finally the trail started to go back down and we could see Island Lake off in the distance.   About 45 minutes later we got to our site next to the lake.  The lake is situated in a small granite bowl surrounded by pine trees and has about four small islands.  The bugs were out in force in our  camp area so we gladly retreated to the lake where the wind kept the mosquitos at bay.  My daughter played in the lake, we cooked dinner and enjoyed the warm weather until it was time to go to bed.  We slept in late the next day and hiked back out.  We saw only one other family the whole time we were at the lake.  All in all it was much more of a wilderness experience then we had during our last trip.  It was ironic since this trail is closer to Seattle and is under greater pressure than our last destination.  We were very happy with the modifications we made to our packs from our first trip.  Ditching the "must haves" like binoculors and wild flower field guides which we did not use on our first trip reduced our pack weights and made for happier parents.  We cant wait to do some more trips locally here in the fall.

1:07 a.m. on September 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey Garth, sounds like ya had a great time out there. Kinda nice how the further ya get in the less people ya see huh? I definitely know what ya mean as far as the the trail heads being congested. 

Thanks for sharing. 

9:42 a.m. on September 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Gotta love the Alpine lakes Wilderness!  Especially once you get away from the TH!  Thanks for posting!

5:19 p.m. on September 6, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanx for sharing Garth. Glad to hear the Family is joinig in and enjoying the trips. Sounds like a beautiful place, got any pics you could share?

Aint it funny how those must have items dont seem to make it on the next trip.

12:02 a.m. on September 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Here are some quick picks from the trip


Bug free breakfast on the lake


Flower on the trail


Taking a break on the switchbacks

12:10 a.m. on September 7, 2011 (EDT)
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From the Pratt Lake Saddle looking down at Ollalie Lake with the north side of Mt Rainier in the distance.

12:44 a.m. on September 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Very nice Garth!  I went out this weekend also and will be posting a trip report soon.  But man oh man what was with the bugs!!  Crazy in the woods.   Great area very glad you had the wind by the lake. 


9:20 p.m. on September 7, 2011 (EDT)
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Nice pics, Thanx.

Beautiful area. Im realy itch'n to get out of the desert southwest. Ive had about enuff of dry and hot! Will be nice when summer is over but its still dry. That lake and pines look real inviting.

12:04 a.m. on September 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Azrhino:  I hear you but the charm starts to wear off when it is the middle of July and you have not had a single day over 80 degrees in 9 months or it has rained at least some part of the day for over 90 days strait. Try eastern Oregon=best of both worlds as far as dry warm weather in the summerbut easy access to the Cascades and lakes.

12:27 a.m. on September 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Yep maybe we could switch for a week :) Below 80  and rainy sounds nice right about now. We've had somthing like 33 days of 110+ this summer. I can head north about 100 miles and get up in elevation to get away from the heat but its still pretty dry there too.

Oh well guess the grass is always greener.....

9:36 a.m. on September 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Very Nice Garth!


I'm getting jealous of you "left-coasters"; what beautiful mountains ya'll have to play in!

11:38 a.m. on September 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Looks like you had a great time, it is wonderful seeing folks getting out with their family.  thanks for sharing the report.

12:55 p.m. on September 8, 2011 (EDT)
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That's the way, Garth...get the kids started when they are young, and hopefully they will still be backpacking with you 20 years from now.  Really nice area, thanks for sharing.

June 23, 2018
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