Backpacking to Thorp Mountain

This hike was a little slice of Heaven. We were looking at a hike that wasn’t too long but offered spectacular views and this one delivered. We were taking someone who had never been backpacking before so this one was picked because it offered mountain vistas, a fire lookout and an alpine lake. Arriving to the hike there isn’t much parking but we were able to find spots for two cars. We passed people walking back to the car and then only passed one more group that was on their way down from the lookout. We had a large group of 8 people and being the only people on the trail made it even more special. The trail started off easy, with a little river crossing and walking out a gentle increase. Once it starts going up it gets more intense. The trail also doesn’t seem to be maintained that well in the sense that you have to walk though some bushes, but it is very obvious where the trail is! There were some sections that were steep, although I think the hot weather was what got to us most. After passing through a meadow and then taking a left at the trail split you follow the trail to a rock face where you cross a little stream. That stream is the last place to filter water and it is a bit of a hike down to there from the ridgeline so fill up there for the night. At the stream there is a pipe near the top with a pink flag on it that makes it easier to fill up your bottles. After we did this we continued to the final push up the hill. The last few switch backs are stunning offering sweeping views around mount Rainer and of the lake below.

We got to the top and continued out the ridgeline where there was a large camp spot that ended up fitting four two person tents. If this spot wouldn’t be available during your trip we passed lots of other sports, lower down on the switchbacks, at the lake, and further down the trail below the lake. We made our dinner and enjoyed the views. Watching the Sunsets was one of the highlights of the evening given the 360 views from the fire lookout. We then went to bed and woke up in the middle of the night to see the stars. It was so pretty to see them, but the lake below did have some light pollution for those of you that are interested in astrophotography, but if just enjoying the view it was stunning.

I decided to wake up and spend some solo time taking pictures at sunrise. The sunrise was stunning, not as many colors as the sunset but less hazy since it was cooler, so more mountains were visible. After a slow start to our morning, we made our way back down the trail. Our main objective was to visit thorp lake. We showed up there and had the lake to ourselves. We swam across to the rock on the other side of the lake and jumped off. The lake was a lot prettier then I had expected it to be from seeing pictures of it and would be worth just hiking to there and spending the night there especially if you have a large group of people! After feeling refreshed from our swim we made our way back down to the trailhead. We passed the only other group that we saw while there. Overall this trail was a gem in the rough and it is definitely made it to one of my top recommendations for people looking for an amazing Washington experience.

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