Backpack to Ingalls Creek

Washington Ingalls Creek Trail head

Added by brian cash

This is an easy 2.5 hour drive from Seattle, to a spot with pretty little foot traffic, and a great place for Spring camping.

As attempting to find a good overnight spot, I stumbled upon the mostly overlooked Ingalls Creek trail. Seemingly easy to get to, this seemed like a solid option for Spring camping. When we arrived, there were about four other cars in the parking lot, and my guess is that was about how many cars were there all day.

After leaving the trailhead, which has a toilet and a picnic table, we made our way up the trail. These are complete estimations, but I would think we hiked in about 2.5 miles, and maybe 1000-1200 feet of elevation gain. It was an easy hike, the only reason I put it as intermediate is that there are some narrow spots on the trail where you could fall down a steep hill to a raging "creek". There were two spots where we had to climb over a downed tree, so it wasn't difficult to get to our camp spot.

I think we passed 2-3 other spots we could camp, but we found the ultimate spot, right off the creek, where we set up 3 tents. Once we set up camp, we walked another 1.5 miles or so, where the trail got more dicey. Pretty much right after our camping area, there were downed trees every few hundred yards or so, some making it so we had to walk a little off trail. It also had a little snow, but nothing you would need microspikes for.

After returning from that little jaunt, we scrambled up above our camp spot to a little cliff. It was a little sketchy, but made it to a decent look out nonetheless.

Overall, this is a cool hike/camp for Spring time, not sure if I would recommend it in the Summer as there are cooler places to go. But if you are looking for something easy, with little people, give it a shot.

Pack List

  • Northwests Forest Pass
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Water Filter
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More



Backpacking, Camping, Hiking

Skill Level:



Spring, Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:



11 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1450 Feet



Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

2 months ago


Never made it to the lake because I came up the wrong side so it was too far for my younger sister (12 years old) but it was very doable. I would recommend this trail as a great relaxing hike. It had some great spots to hang up hammocks on the creek too.

2 months ago

Added by brian cash

More Adventures Nearby

Hike Mount Catherine

Washington / Mount Catherine Trailhead

Start off on the extremely rough Forest Service 9070 road. Follow this for just over 4 miles until you see a sign for trail #1348 on the right.

Bryan Carroll
31 Saves

Hike to Gem Lake

Washington / Snow Lake Trailhead

The trail to Gem Lake lies along the same trail that passes by the incredibly popular Snow Lake.

Shelby Pothier
23 Saves

Hike to Elk Pass via "the Knife"

Washington / Snowgrass Flat Trailhead

This is a rather long out and back, however, it can also be done as a backpack, which would give you more time to explore the Goat Rocks Wilderness, which is highlighted in other Adventures.

Isaac Desautels
20 Saves