Rampart Lakes

August 13-15

Rampart Lakes as seem from Rampart Ridge.


I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon the little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky.

...Oscar Wilde

Story By: Jason Hummel

Troy, Josh and Jason

A picture from a 100-Hikes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness caught my brothers attention. Our first choice was the Olympic Peninsula, but repairs on the Hood Canal Bridge over the weekend meant that any hiking over there was out of the question. What wasn't was our leaving for 3-days and not returning home. With our priority of fishing, doing nothing, forgetting the stress of work and enjoying the surrounding country side, we decided that Rampart Lakes was the place to be. I tried to capture the same photo that Bob or Ira Spring (not sure which one) had 30 or 40 years ago. See above for a closer look at my attempt.

The trailhead is on the other side of Snoqualmie Pass up Kachess Lake, and has plenty of space if you get there early. By the time we arrived it was nearly full, the occupants of which we met on the hike to the first lake. Many camp here as it is just 5-miles, but we continued another half mile to a ridge where I decided to take a left while Josh and Troy went right.

Josh and Troy discovered their error after noticing the picture of Rampart Lakes didn't match with their view of Lila Lakes. Meanwhile I rounded all of the tarns at the correct lakes in search of them, before finally realizing that they weren't there and finding a nice camp at the end of one of the smaller Rampart's.

They eventually arrived and the next couple of days didn't include much fishing, but more exploring and relaxing, which is fine by me. I'm not much of a fisherman. It's the idea that counts. There doesn't have to be fish in the lake to be good fishing for me.

The stars at night were as plentiful as the ants, mice and bugs that had woken up. In spite of their nuisance I eventually slept. My second night was better since I found some granite to sleep on instead of dirt.

During the day our exploration of the area found two places worth mentioning. The first was Lila Lakes, less frequented by the crowds and almost as nice as the Ramparts. The second place was the most rewarding and was above us the whole time, and it was saved for last. We got there by going up a light hikes's path that begins after you cross a meadow beyond the furthest away lake. From there it leads to Rampart Ridge. The trail continues to some light scrambling that finally leads you to the best viewpoint. Sights can be seen north to Chimney Rock, Bear's Breast and Daniel; west to multiple peaks in the Snoqualmie Pass area, and east to the Stuart Range. What was most impressive beyond the sense of awe at seeing the freeway far below, was the hang gliders and para gliders that swooped and circled above our heads. Very much a sight that nearly convinces me to join them. Maybe once I am older? No need to tempt fate more than I already am.

On the third day we hiked the 6-miles out, eating as many of the wild blue berries as we could. My advice, get their as soon as you can before all of them are gone.

Thanks for coming along Troy and for everyone else, here are some more pictures that I took of the area.

Rachael Lake. The best camps are center left in the cove.
Lila Lake.
Okay, this time I was leading.
Our bed and breakfast.
Josh and his reflection.
Here is breakfast.
There's plenty for everyone.
These guys rule.
These guys sure don't.
What a great place!
Nice views.
That'd be the top.
Rampart Lakes from far away.
Rampart Lakes closer up.


See Alpine State OF Mind. Or CONTACT ME. If you enjoyed your visit, tell us about it, go to the GUESTBOOK.

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