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Waptus Lake via Waptus River Trail

based on 105 tracks & routes #380 hike out of 1110 in
8.4 mi
Distance
4 hrs 44 min
Time
terrain
672 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

This is a moderate trail in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest north of Cle Elum. The trail begins near Salmon la Sac and coasts up and down into the Waptus River valley and finally lake Waptus. The challenge of this trail comes from the long trek through the forest with few scenic view points. The trail begins with the Cooper River trail and Polallie Ridge trail, so be sure to follow the signs and stay to the right. You should climb up and down a few hills in the beginning, but eventually the trail should find some relief as you settle in near the Waptus River before climbing gradually the remainder of the hike. The trail dips into swamps, across many creeks, and crests small, rocky hills, but remains in the trees except for small patches of old burned snags. Several campsites can be found along the way if you want to make the trip more than one day. Mosquitos will keep you moving quickly through this hike, bring protection! When you reach the Spinola creek crossing use the horse ford to cross the river to continue to Lake Waptus. The final mile is surprisingly flat as you cross an open forest to reach the campsites at the south end of the lake. Enjoy views of Bears Breast Mountain and Little Big Chief. Continue up the east side of the lake to find even more campsites and the trail to Spade and Venus lakes. Or take a right and follow the Spinola Creek trail up to the PCT and Deep Lake. From the far end of the lake a trail gains access to Lake Ivanhoe. This is a popular trail, so leave early to find a campsite on busy days. Many horseback riders and pack strings enjoy this area so be sure to yield to them and gently make your presence known.

This trail goes by Waptus Lake.

Getting Started

From Roslyn follow State Route 903 north along Lake Cle Elum to the Salmon la Sac Campground at about 16 miles. Take the left fork to cross the river into the campground, and then take a right to follow the road to the trailhead about a half a mile along the road. Polallie Ridge and Cooper River trails also begin at this trailhead so be sure to stay to the right. This is a very popular trail for stock so please be aware and don’t block the way for large trucks and trailers.

Taking Children

The challenge of this trail comes from the mileage. Children could likely enjoy most parts of this trail with enough time and rest. Closer campsites can be found along the way to shorten the mileage. A final river crossing before reaching the lake should be taken with caution.


Sights to See


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Public Tracks

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boutros.philippe 1 year, 11 months ago
8 miles to Waptus Lake
Less of a climb than some other options
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schneiderels 2 years, 11 months ago
Waptus lake
3hrs to camp, 3,5 bushwaking
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brianvance 4 weeks, 1 day ago
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hannahhorton118 1 year, 11 months ago
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mdwilkinson18 1 year, 11 months ago
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sangalshrey 1 year, 11 months ago
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smithjana67 2 years ago
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dallasjdyer 2 years, 2 months ago
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scohen82 2 years, 2 months ago
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khayden 2 years, 10 months ago
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Hadley 2 years, 11 months ago
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sofiawahaj 5 years, 1 month ago
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sofiawahaj 5 years, 1 month ago
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sofiawahaj 5 years, 1 month ago
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bradgibson 5 years, 11 months ago
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bradgibson 5 years, 11 months ago