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Backpacker Magazine – May 2008

Best Damn Weekend Ever: Washington's Kaleetan Lake Loop

Only an hour from Seattle, this Cascades gem offers killer Rainier views.

by: Bryce Andrews

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Check out loads more GPS-enabled trips around Seattle.

Plan It

Maps
Green Trails #206 Bandera and #207 Snoqualmie Pass ($5.50, greentrailsmaps.com)

Permit
Required ($5/day) and available at the North Bend Ranger Station (425-888-1421) or the REI mothership in Seattle (206-223-1944)

Payoff
A BLAT sandwich (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado and Tomato) and locally brewed pint at The Pub at Third Place in Ravenna (3rdplacepub.com)

The Way
From Seattle, take I-90 east 46 miles to exit 47. Make two lefts, and drive a quarter mile to the Granite Mountain Trailhead.


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Reader Rating: Star Star Star Star Star

READERS COMMENTS

A Friend of Scouting
Apr 07, 2011

This is a good trip for mid-Summer and Fall. At this time, we are into an extended Winter season and it will be a few months until we can do much in the High Country. Try some of the lower-elevation hikes on the Southeast side of I-90 where there is sunlight, early thawing of snow, and nice trees: fir, pine, cedar, larch, hemlock, and spruce...very aromatic; very Spring-like, but not so in Western WA.

Moutain Martin
Sep 26, 2010

There are no thick spruce forests here. nor are there any pine trees at all. The trees here are predominatly Western Hemlock and Silver Fir at lower elevations and Mountain Hemlock and Subapline Fir above 4500 FT. The Mountain Hemlocks of Hemlock Pass are almost worth all the effort. It is an epic adventure though, particularly if you add a day to climb Kaleetan Peak

skymac
Sep 06, 2008

I went on this trip with my dog, and it was the best damn weekend ever. I did it during the week and took 4 days and 3 nights. I was in no rush so I spent an extra day. If you live in the Seattle area and have not been to this area I highly recomend it. I live in the SW part of washinton state and did the 130 mile trip with my dog guinnes and we both had a great time.

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