backpack: Rampart Lakes + Alta Mountain

On this three night backpacking trip in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, we hiked in to Rampart Lakes and day hiked up Alta Mountain.

Day 1: Hike in

5.7 miles with 2,300 ft. elevation gain

We started at the Rachel Lake trailhead with a plan to basecamp at the Rampart Lakes area.

The hike in to Rachel Lake is difficult, as noted on the Mountaineers website: “While the total distance and elevation gain suggests a moderate hike, the infamous Rachel Lake “mile from hell” is truly grueling and inappropriate for those who are not in athletic condition. In one mile, a heavily rooted and rough boot path ascends 1,300 feet. This portion is more like a scramble than a hike.”

Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip

Alpine Lakes Wilderness sign

The hike in is next to Box Canyon Creek for most of the way, crossing over many tributary creeks.

Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip

small creek crossing

 

This is the trail… rocky with roots to climb up for about a mile. We were really tired on the way up, and considered camping at Rachel Lake, but I’d seen photos of the Rampart Lakes area and was determined to camp there instead.

Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip

rocky trail

Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip

refreshing water cascade on a hot day

Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip

view of Hibox from the trail

 

We rested at Rachel Lake for a short time, filtering water to continue our hike. The trail past Rachel Lake goes up a steep ridge, but the condition of this trail is much better, with switchbacks to ease the hike up, and views of Rachel Lake below.

Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip

heading up Rampart Ridge

Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip

view of Rachel Lake from the ridge

At the trail junction at the top of the ridge, we turned left to go to Rampart Lakes.

Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip

 

Day 2: exploring the Rampart Lakes area

Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking tripAlpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip

 

Day 3: day hike to Alta Mountain

On the third day, we headed towards Lila Lakes for a hike up Alta Mountain.

Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking tripAlpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip

 

View of Hibox Mountain (in the center) with Lila Lakes below.

Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip

 

Heading up Alta Mountain

Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip

 

Looking back at the hike up Alta, with Rachel Lake in the center, and Rampart Lakes Mount Rainier in the upper right.

Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip

 

Wow. Endless peaks in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Rampart Lakes backpacking trip

On the last day, we hiked out all the way to the trailhead. I was super tired so I didn’t take any photos on the hike out.

, ,