Last weekend (9/12-9/13) I went on a super awesome backpacking trip about 15 miles outside of Roslyn, WA. Starting out at the Pete Lake Trail Head, the goal was to make it to Spectacle Lake and camp there. This hike starts out pretty flat with some steeper switchbacks as you get closer to the lake. From the Pete Lake trail head to Spectacle Lake is about 11 miles. There is about 1,400 feet of elevation gain.
Getting a late start, we actually ended up doing some night hiking with head lamps. The trail went on and on and in the dark we eventually stopped at a spot that looked like a good place to camp, not actually sure how close to the lake we were. Boy did we rough it. I ended up sleeping in a shelter made out of tarps with my doggie by my side. The goal was to try and experience what it really means to survive out in the wilderness with the bare minimum. In hindsight it was fun, but next time I will be bringing my tent. That being said, it was windy and rainy that night and I stayed dry!
The next morning the search was on for Spectacle Lake. There were a lot of little trails where we ended up camping. At first it seemed like we might just need to hike a little higher to reach the lake but eventually we turned around, confused because there was still no sign of it. On our way back down we saw it. And I cursed out loud because we probably added 2 or 3 extra miles both ways going too far. The lake was truly spectacular. On our way back down we saw the sign we had missed the sign directing us to Spectacle Lake. The turnoff was sort of hidden and when I was hiking in the dark I completely missed it. If you plane on doing this hike, make sure you watch for the signs and if you feel like you have gone far enough you probably have!
Aside from the distance possibly being longer than some are comfortable with, I would recommend this hike. Not too steep and sites galore! If 20-something miles isn’t far enough for you, you can add more by hiking along the ridge for I don’t know how long. This trail is actually part of the infamous Pacific Crest Trail and there is horse camps and regular camps along the way. I hiked in my Brooks PureGrits and didn’t have any issues. This hike took about nine hours for me total hiking time but keep in mind I added on quite a bit of extra mileage! Northwest Forest Pass is required for this hike.