Today with three women we hiked a 10.5 miles loop to Lake Valhalla, WA, gaining 3,931 feet in elevation. We put a car at two diferent trail heads.
Started on the Pacific Crest Trail at Stevens Pass, hiked steeply up over a pass, and dropped down to Lake Valhalla for lunch. Then out the via the Smithbrook Trail.
We started in light rain that became mist. We were surprised there was so much deep snow. At Lake Valhalla, the sun peeked out briefly.
Mosquitoes were aggressive. Permethrin spray on my clothes, hat and pack made me a walking Mosquito Repellent Zone. But I should have sprayed insect repellent on my neck and the backs of my hands. Got 3 bites. Next time I will spray exposed skin.
"Are we close to the lake?" a young lady asked as we hiked out. No. She was foolishly dressed in just running shorts and tank top. Mosquitoes will eat her alive! She had no jacket, shirt, hat or long pants with her.
"It was very cold and windy at Lake Valhalla," I told her. "You need a jacket, raincoat, long pants and a hat. Next time be prepared."
"Let her learn the hard way," Karen said.
Here's Lake Valhalla on a sunny day in June 2016. We climbed nearby Mt. McCausland, too. Great views of Glacier Peak, 10,000', and a surrounding mountains that day.