Days 133 to 136 (Miles 2390.6 to 2467.3)

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There are two trails leaving Snoqualmie Pass: the PCT and the Goldmyer Hot Springs Alternate. Most of the alternate trails we’ve taken have been well worth it. With this in mind we were tempted to hike the Goldmyer Alternate, but after researching it a little, it didn’t seem like a good option. The hot springs are owned by a nonprofit dedicated to offering a wilderness experience to the public while preserving the springs. This is great, but use of the area is limited to 20 people per day and it is extremely difficult to get a reservation on short notice. Additionally, we read that the Goldmyer trail itself is rocky, steep, overgrown and generally more challenging than the PCT.

So we decided against taking the Goldmyer Alternate. But then… in talking to another hiker at Snoqualmie Pass, we discovered that the road in to Goldmyer Hot Springs has been under construction every weekday this summer. Very few people hike in via the trail, so the hot spring is more or less deserted during the week. We couldn’t pass that up.

Snow Lake on the Goldmyer Alternate.
Snow Lake on the Goldmyer Alternate.
Snow Lake
Snow Lake

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The Goldmyer Alternate was a difficult trail, but it was also very beautiful. We passed several high alpine lakes. We also spent half a day walking alongside many cascades in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River. The hot spring itself was really nice as well.

Log bridge on the way to the hot spring.
Log bridge on the way to the hot spring.
This cave is filled with waist-deep, 107 degree water. It goes back at least 20 feet. We couldn't really see the back of the cave.
This cave is filled with waist-deep, 107 degree water. It goes back at least 20 feet. We couldn’t really see the back of the cave.
Crossing the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River.
Crossing the Middle Fork Snoqualmie River.

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Lake Ivanhoe
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Bridge failure at the Lake Ivanhoe outlet.

Once we rejoined the PCT, the trail took us through steeper, more mountainous terrain. We hiked up and over Piper Pass and past numerous scenic lakes before reaching Stevens Pass.

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Cathedral Rock
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Crossing a creek with a “potentially difficult ford.” Glad we’re here in August.

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We picked up our resupply box at the Stevens Pass ski resort. It’s a popular mountain biking destination in the summer, and lots of people were taking the ski lift up and biking down.

Ski lift at Stevens Pass
Ski lift at Stevens Pass
Stevens Pass
Stevens Pass

Some friends from down the hill drove up to meet us for lunch at Stevens Pass. They generously brought us an amazing spread of food including local fresh fruit, brats, tamales, chocolate zucchini bread and two growlers of beer from Leavenworth’s Icicle Brewery. It was great! We ate as much as we could and relaxed for a bit before getting back on the trail. (Thank you very much Ryan and Janet!)

I was too distracted to take photos once all the food came out, but here are the growlers.
I was too distracted to take photos once all the food came out, but here are the growlers.

It was difficult to hike with full stomachs and once again full packs. We made it about six miles, then found a really nice campsite next to a meadow with views of the surrounding peaks.

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8 thoughts on “Days 133 to 136 (Miles 2390.6 to 2467.3)”

  1. You guys are in my old stomping grounds! Snow Lake, Goldmeyer, Cathedral Rock, I know that country well. So beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I have read your whole blog and have been following you! I am so inspired and want to do the trail next year. Your adventure look amazing.

  3. Last week I did a 35-mile stretch in the central Sierras that included Selden Pass. As I was huffing and puffing up the to the pass and then stepping easily over Bear Creek, I couldn’t help but marvel that you guys did that in deep snow and through raging streams, and kept going! Hope your final days on the trail are enjoyable…

  4. Its been wonderful following you. I’ve been able to see things I will probably never get to see otherwise. I’m so proud of your successes, but sad (for me) to see it coming to a close. BTW, I also read your blog on the High Route in Europe! Excellent.

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