Trip Report: Surprise and Glacier Lakes

I’m a bit behind on trip reports – I actually did this trail on Tuesday, Sept 29. It was a perfect fall day: warm but not hot, clear blue skies, and bright fall foliage. I’d been up to Surprise Lake before, but that was in spring when the lake was still snow-covered. Not this time.

Some logistical details: I parked on the north side of the railroad tracks, because I’ve heard about people getting stranded at that trailhead when a train parked on the tracks and effectively blocked them in. There was no train when I got there or when I left, but I guess you never know…?

The trail itself is in great condition. No blowdowns, minimal brush, easy to follow.

I was looking for 14 miles, so I went to Surprise Lake, did a bit of exploring, and then headed for Glacier Lake. I accidentally zipped right past Glacier Lake and found myself in a basin looking up at Surprise and Thunder Mountains. The air was completely still, the sun was warm on my arms, and I kind of wanted to stay there forever. But I still needed to log at least another mile or two… So I decided to head up to Surprise Gap to check out the views.

I had a really really hard time turning around at Surprise Gap. There was an established trail leading to Surprise Mountain, and I could also see Mount Daniel peeking through the trees if I went just a little bit more south… But it’s not quite time for the big miles again, so I called it a day and headed back.

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Surprise Lake
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View from Surprise Gap: Glacier Lake with Glacier Peak in the distance.
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Impossible to resist.
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MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!

4 Replies to “Trip Report: Surprise and Glacier Lakes”

  1. This looks fantastic! I love how all your reports (and great photos) are inspiring me to note some of these trails for next season (or sometime).
    Also…pikas are the BEST. When they meep, I just assume they’re cheering us on. 🙂

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