Alta Mountain via Rampart Ridge Backdoor Trail
Tour the spectacular tarns and lakes of the Alpine Lake Wilderness. Hike through wooded sections of the trail until the trees thin and you come to alpine lakes. The views become more stunning the higher you gain the ridge to the top of Alta Mountain. See views of the Central Cascades from the summit.
From the trailhead, follow the trail signs and fill out a hiking permit. Gain elevation and reach the first of the tour of lakes: Lake Lillian. Take a short break before stopping at the many Rampart Lakes. Start up the ridge as you climb above Rachel Lake getting above the treeline.
Take your time on the ridge as it gains elevation fast before the summit. Late spring and into early summer, you'll find snow on the ridge. Watch for cornices on the ridge during the winter.
Brave the icy waters and take a dip on a hot summer day. Make the trip an overnight one and camp at any of the lakes. Signs will indicate where camping is allowed.
A Northwest Forest Pass is required at the trailhead. Pay for a day-use or buy the annual pass to enjoy hikes in National Forests year-round.