Backpack to Circle Lake, Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Circle Lake Trailhead - Search Nearby - Added by Jerald McDermott

Take in 360 degree mountain views along this 16-mile backpacking trip. The remote alpine lakes offer solitude and great places to camp near the in close proximity to the lake.

Start at the Cathedral Rock Trailhead and start to head up the long switchbacks. After running into the Trail Creek trail, keep right heading towards Cathedral Rock and Squaw Lake. There are a couple nice spots around Squaw Lake, about 2.5 miles in, to stop and have a snack. Now head around the lake and up a few more switchbacks. Soon you'll break into a nice alpine meadow with ponds right next to the trail.

Continuing to head onto the PCT and after going over the ridge you'll see a sign to the right for Peggy's Pond. Once at Peggy's Pond, about 3 miles from Squaw Lake, you can camp there or continue on to Circle Lake. Follow the small trails up behind the horseshoe shaped pond and then up the ridge to the left. Maneuvering across the side of the mountain and over the 3 or 4 crests and boulder fields, you'll follow sparse cairns through prime goat territory.

After about 2 more miles, the trail lets you out looking over the lake, nestled below Mt. Daniel. There are a few campsites around, but at the south end of the lake, there's a nice flat spot where we camped. Explore the alpine lake, enjoy the beautiful mountain views, or make yourself a well deserved cup of coffee!

Distance

16 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

2800 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Nearby Lodging

From $55/night

LOGE Leavenworth

Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth / Pine Village KOA

Leavenworth, Washington

Ellensburg KOA

Ellensburg, Washington

Seattle / Tacoma KOA

Kent, Washington

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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