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Josephine Lake

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

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Josephine Lake

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  • Fireweed flowers on the Pacific Crest Trail through Stevens Pass.- Josephine Lake
  • Overlooking the back of Stevens Pass.- Josephine Lake
  • Crossing talus slopes.- Josephine Lake
  • Distant ridges and peaks.- Josephine Lake
  • Trail through the woods down to the lake.- Josephine Lake
  • Josephine Lake from up the ridge.- Josephine Lake
  • Day use area at Josephine Lake.- Josephine Lake
  • Josephone Lake.- Josephine Lake
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Great views. Lakeside camping.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,150.00 ft (655.32 m)
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
10.00 mi (16.09 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,800.00 ft (853.44 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Josephine Lake sits at the head of Icicle Creek Valley, its sparkling blue waters an invitation to hikers looking for a place to stop for lunch or camp for the night. Hiking the 5 miles to Josephine Lake from Stevens Pass will give you the chance to experience a stretch of one of the most famous hiking trails in the country. The Pacific Crest Trail was designated a national scenic route in 1968, and it is now visited by thousands of hikers each year. Several hundred thru-hikers undertake the entire 2,600 miles of the PCT from Mexico to Canada annually.

Begin by hiking along the PCT, which switchbacks up a ridge from Stevens Pass and crosses under several immobile ski lifts. After 2 miles of climbing you will be rewarded by a stunning view of the Chiwaukum Mountains, neighboring ridges, and the valley down below. Descend over ski slopes and under power lines for another mile until civilization is left behind at the Alpine Lakes Wilderness border. Hike by little Lake Susan Jane on the PCT before crossing through a subalpine meadow and reaching the junction with the Icicle Creek Trail.

On the Icicle Creek Trail, drop down the ridge to the basin where Josephine Lake sits ensconced in fir and cedar trees. There are a couple of spots to camp near the lake, as well as another more inconspicuous spot further down the trail. Enjoy a rest on the log-strewn bank, or get out the fishing gear and prepare to catch your dinner. If you would like to hike further, consider visiting the beautiful Chain and Doelle Lakes another 5 miles down the trail.

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Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(28 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(97 within a 30 mile radius)

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