Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA: Chain Lakes-Bulls Tooth Loop

A challenging 3 day journey into the Chain Lakes area. On this 31 mile lollipop loop, see several lakes, cross 3 passes, and trek through forests and meadows back to the beginning.
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A challenging 3 day journey into the Chain Lakes area. On this 31 mile lollipop loop, see several lakes, cross 3 passes, and trek through forests and meadows back to the beginning.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 50.8

Waypoints

Stevens Pass Trailhead

Location: 47.7461357, -121.0859909

Start of your trail, in the upper parking lot, near the end.

Pass at chair lift

Location: 47.7324104, -121.0845184

First pass you will ascend near the chair lift at Stevens pass

Lake Susan Jane

Location: 47.7219353, -121.0669861

First lake you come to.

Trail #1551

Location: 47.7191467, -121.0609665

Trail Junction. Turn left here, and leave the PCT behind.

Josephine Lake

Location: 47.7183075, -121.0549164

Here the trail gets close to the lake. There are camp sites here at the lake.

Whitepine #1582 jct.

Location: 47.7145958, -121.050415

Trail junction leading left to Whitepine, trail #1582. Stay on #1551.

Creekcross

Location: 47.6949272, -121.0544968

A nice stream to stop at and fill up, if needed.

Chainlake #1569 jct.

Location: 47.6897697, -121.0550995

Trail head for #1569, which leads up to Chain Lakes.

Chain Lakes Camp

Location: 47.6894569, -121.0180893

Where we spent our first night at Chain Lakes. There aren't that many sites at the lakes, so get here as early as you can. Could only find sites on the North and East banks of the lake.

Pass between Chain and Doelle Lakes

Location: 47.6892815, -121.0091782

Pass between the lakes, from this point, you can see in both directions for miles and miles...

Upper Doelle Lake

Location: 47.6938171, -121.006424

First and biggest of two Doelle lakes.

stay right here

Location: 47.6925926, -121.0048752

Faint trails run in two directions here. Stay right, to go to lower Doelle Lake

Lower Doelle Lake

Location: 47.6933556, -121.0022125

Lower and smaller of the two. Lots and lots of fish jumping here...

Doughgod Creek Crossing

Location: 47.6951599, -120.9971008

Cross Doughgod Creek here. Trail is faint, but still easy to follow.

Viewridge

Location: 47.6892204, -120.9778976

From this point, again, you can see long distance to the SW, and this side of Bulls Tooth Mountain.

Water

Location: 47.6845589, -120.9728851

Since most of this part of the trail is a Ridgeline walk, found water here, and in the meadow soon to come.

Hill where trail dies

Location: 47.6834526, -120.9701843

At this point, we had to look for the trail, as it disappears here.

Stream

Location: 47.6833954, -120.9695206

Cross a stream in the meadow here, another place for water.

Ridgeline

Location: 47.6809053, -120.9656096

We shot for this ridgeline, and followed it up to join again with the trail. Relatively clear of brush.

Trail begins again

Location: 47.679081, -120.9666748

Here, we rejoined the trail, and it's easy to follow from here on out.

Frosty Pass

Location: 47.6753998, -120.9574203

Another Pass, this one is unremarkable, nothing to see here, surrounded by trees...

start bushwack

Location: 47.6708221, -120.9638519

Title says it all...Trail is surrounded by dense brush, that you must wade chest and sometimes head high...For about 45 minutes!

Treeline

Location: 47.6661568, -120.9693985

Once you get here, the worst of the bushwacking is behind you...There will still be other stretches, but nothing like this last one...

camp trl 1592, error!

Location: 47.6420021, -120.9735489

Map shows this as a trail junction, where trail #1551 meets up with 1592. Actual trail is what the GPS trail shows!

Trail Junction with #1551

Location: 47.6572113, -121.0102844

Finally reach trail #1551, which will lead you back to beginning. Also, turn left here, and head to Icicle Creek, to look for campsite.

Icicle Creek camp

Location: 47.6556625, -121.0093842

Good campsites near Icicle Creek. Enough for up to 8 tents. There are sites on both sides of the bridge.

Leland Creek

Location: 47.6653099, -121.0416794

Trail junction to Leland Creek. Older maps tell you there is a bark cabin on the other side of the ford...

Icicle Creek Falls

Location: 47.6860847, -121.0588989

A small fall on Icicle Creek, right before heading up Switch backs.

Trail Head

Location: 47.7462502, -121.0865021

Start of lollipop loop at Stevens Pass Ski area

Stevens Pass

Location: 47.7322235, -121.0840988

Looking SE from the top of the pass, looking towards Bulls Tooth Mountain.

PCT, Trail #2000

Location: 47.7225227, -121.0735397

The route starts on the PCT, and here you can see how well maintained it is, over a large talus slope.

Josephine Lake

Location: 47.7212524, -121.0558624

A large lake surrounded on 3 sides by talus slopes. Camp sites are located here.

Chain lake #1

Location: 47.6910477, -121.0212708

The first of 3 of the Chain lakes you will encounter.

Middle Chain Lake

Location: 47.6871185, -121.0144043

By far the most spectacular of the 3, with meadows and large rock formations. Trout are abundant here, too.

Chain Lake #3

Location: 47.6859627, -121.0138016

The shallowest, and more secluded of the 3, sitting at the base of Bulls Tooth.

Chain Lakes Meadows

Location: 47.6888504, -121.0154343

Beautiful meadows all around the lake. Be sure to stay on the trail!

Chain Lakes

Location: 47.6894264, -121.0178375

A view from our campsite at the northern tip of the lake.

Jagged No-name Peak

Location: 47.688446, -121.0145798

Could find no name for the peak here, that is definitely fitting of a moniker.

Doelle Lakes area

Location: 47.6891403, -121.0085678

As seen from the trail over the next pass, that drops down into Doelle Lakes.

Upper Doelle Lake

Location: 47.6937027, -121.0067673

Another beautiful Alpine Lake, surrounded by towers of granite.

Lower Doelle Lake

Location: 47.6935883, -121.0028152

This one is shallower, but full of hungry trout. You can see them jumping in this picture.

Huckleberry Hill

Location: 47.694397, -120.9984436

Ok, I don't really know what it's name is, but I think this one is apropos...

Meadows in Doughgod creek drainage

Location: 47.6942825, -120.9949188

Filled with wildflowers, the meadow is shortly after leaving Doelle lakes.

View along trail #1569

Location: 47.6889076, -120.9774094

Although many maps don't officially recognize this trail, from this ridgeline looking SW towards Bulls Tooth and beyond...

Icicle Creek

Location: 47.6563683, -121.0089951

Icicle creek views from the large bridge.

Chicken O' the Woods

Location: 47.6583939, -121.0224762

Large mushrooms adorn the trunk of this old tree. Bright colors in the forest undercanopy.

Camp at Leland Creek Crossing

Location: 47.6652718, -121.0410995

Large, flat sandy area next to Icicle Creek, and the Leland Creek trail junction.

Blaze marks

Location: 47.6883316, -121.0549164

Blaze marks on the tree, that resemble a large "i"...Could this mean Icicle creek trail??? They were all along the trail only visible from the clockwise trail direction.