Leroy Creek Escape
I felt the need to get away from people so I headed East to Phelps Creek trail (Spider Meadow). After arriving at the trail head and seeing 40+ cars, I decided instead to go for the Leroy Creek High Route.
The first few miles along the Phelps Creek trail were gradual uphill and very easy. The trail soon turned steep, heading along Leroy Creek and high up into the basin below 7 Fingered Jack and Mt. Maude. The black flies added to the heat and dusty steep trail to make the hiking not so fun. I veered off the trail and angled up along the open hillside to reach the basin where I was greeted by many whistling marmots! Later in the evening I was also greeted by a curious deer. Better that than a bear like back in Escondido!
I was far enough from Seattle that the stars came out in full force. I could see the glow of the city far off but a majority of the moonless sky was filled with stars. The morning was cool but the hot sun was aproaching fast so I headed uphill while the shade protected me. I headed more or less straight up the basin towards a pass at 7700 ft. The pass dropped steeply on the other side toward Big Creek and several small glaciers. I headed out the ridge to a point that overlooked a small, beautiful lake with a panoramic view of Glacier Peak and surrounding mountains. I could have stayed there for hours! I made my way along the ridge to a point in the shade where Logan and I rested. The horseflies had found me by this point and I must have killed 50 of them. A quick snack and some water and I was off downhill again, back to camp, then back down the trail.
I managed to find a few huckleberries along the trail. I would’ve stopped to pick extra but the flies and heat made me keep moving. Overall this trip was eye opening to the massive peaks east of Glacier Peak and to the huge elevation gains necessary for great views. I’ll be back for more when time allows since this was too far for a “weekend.” Give yourself 3+ days! Enjoy.