Backpacking the Lyman Lakes

Rate this Adventure Washington Phelps Creek Trailhead

Added by Jeff Carlson

  • Distance: ~50mi (depending on how far you go)
  • Elevation gain: 7200ft
  • Duration: 3-5days
  • A beautiful hike that has amazing photographic opportunities

Start out on the Phelps Creek Trail toward Spider Meadows/ Phelps Basin, it's roughly 7 miles to Phelps Basin but really easy going. You can camp somewhere either in Spider Meadows, Phelps Basin, or part of the way up Spider Gap, which are all good spots. We stayed in Phelps Basin and scrambled up Dumbell and Greenwood (to really get some solid views of the area.) Head up and over Spider Gap, the view of Lyman lakes from here is amazing! Upper Lyman Lake was probably the highlight of the trip for me.

After taking it all in, continue down to Lower Lyman Lake where you meet back up with another trail that will take you toward Cloudy Pass. Depending on how much time you have for this trip, you can stay at lower Lyman Lake or continue on. At Cloudy Pass there is a hikers shortcut trail toward Buck Creek Pass, which we did end up taking. After a few more miles, an optional side trip to Image Lake can offer excellent views of Glacier Peak. You may see marmots, deer, birds and possibly a good size black bear. After heading back out, you continue to follow signs for Buck Creek Pass. Once you hit Buck Creek Pass, it's all down hill...but it's a long way out and you are around 50 miles into the trip.

You end up at a different parking lot so you either have to hike the road (roughly 3 miles) or shuttle cars.

Pack List

  • Hiking gear (shoes, clothes, etc.)
  • Camping gear (tent, sleeping, etc.)
  • Food
  • Stove
  • Water (and purifier)
  • Warm clothes
  • Gloves
  • Headlamp
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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, Photography

Skill Level:





Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Swimming Hole

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Added by Jeff Carlson

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