Backpacking Rachel Lake

Our weekend got off to a shaky start – Matt’s radiator boiled over on Capitol Hill so we had to do a last minute car switch. Luckily everyone is safe and the car is home parked legally on the street. Fingers crossed that we can get it working again without too much fuss. While the car was cooling down on Capitol Hill we enjoyed soup with Marty to celebrate 2 years of being cancer free. In full Marty-party fashion there was even a writing assignment. My parents were there and it was great to see them.

After soup and taking the car home Matt and I headed out to Issaquah to spend the night with his parents and gather together some remaining camping gear we needed.

We were off to the mountains by 9:30 Saturday morning with stunning late summer WA weather. The air promised a dry, hot weekend, and there was hardly a cloud in the sky. The mini got to stretch her legs on some rough mountain roads (she did wonderfully) and we were on the trail by 11:15. The hike up to Rachel Lake followed a river, and took us through forest and alpine meadows…all beautiful. My energy level seriously dropped during the long climb up to the lake (the last 1/3 of the trail) but Matt is so good about keeping my spirits up. When we arrived at the lake we found a secluded camp site near the far west end and set up camp. We had access to a great little beach and we went down for a late afternoon swim. It was freezing! After a few dips in the frigid water we retreated to the sunny warm beach to dry off and enjoy the stunning views.

Dinner also brought out more mosquitoes…they were awful. Bad enough where Matt stayed in the tent while I cooked up our tuna mac and cheese and then we ate sitting on our sleeping bags. Mosquitoes love Matt. I don’t react to the bites so luckily we were able to function through he swarms. Next time we are bringing deet. We cleaned up dinner and lay in the tent until the stars came out playing 20 questions. It was so relaxing and peaceful to get away in the mountains.

Sunday morning we woke up and had a slow morning making oatmeal on the beach and getting ready for our day hike. We packed up my camera, some snacks and water bottles and trekked up to Rampart Lakes (near Rampart Ridge that we did not have time to get to). These alpine lakes are beautiful…there are at least 20 scattered through a region of huge rock formations and heather meadows. The wildflowers were at their peak and were stunning.

We returned to our campsite and broke camp, then took one last dip in the lake before hiking back to the car. We made good time going down, but we were getting really tired and sore by the time the parking lot was in sight. My tired Moose and I drove back home, stopping for a burger and beer in North Bend, ready for a shower and a good night sleep.

Wonderful Washington weekend.


One thought on “Backpacking Rachel Lake

  1. My cousin and I backpacked up to Rachel Lake a couple weeks after you guys. I know the exact camp spot you’re talking about. We stayed on the n.e. side of the lake, but also had a great spot. We were the only souls there and the weather was spectacular. I agree…the mosquitoes were pretty bad. I did a video on the trip if you’re interested…


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