PNT day 43 – Ross Lake


Highway 20 Spur Trail (735.2) to Pumpkin Mountain Camp (741.4)

6.2 miles

Slowly I packed up my stuff at Ravensong’s Roost and said goodbye to the other hikers. I was wondering if I could get a ride to Ross Lake quick.

Minutes later I stood at the side of the Highway holding up a cardboard sign with “Ross Lake” on it. Somehow it didn’t feel right and so I walked down the road towards the Mazama store. I wanted to get another drink and maybe a snack. At the store I bumped into Caro again who was sitting in the shade and chatting with a couple. I joined her for a while but then started off to the highway again. Caro wanted to do some sidetrips in the Cascades and was heading towards Stehekin.

Back at the highway I wasn’t even in a proper hitching position when a car stopped. Two women on their way to Seattle gave me a ride as they would pass by Ross Lake. I chatted with them for a while and we exchanged the usual information about what everyone is doing, where we are from and so on. After a while they chatted with each other again and I was happy about that as I was about to fall asleep in the back of the car. Man, I am tired!

Arriving at the trailhead I said many times thank you and wished them both a save journey. After a quick stop at the pit toilet I hit the trail and one mile later I stood on top of Ross Lake Dam.

I crossed over and short after the dam the service road turned into a trail that went along the lake. I climbed up along the lakeside until I reached the side trail to Ross Lake Resort which is a pricy boat-in resort. Most hikers send their resupply boxes there to avoid hitching out to Mazama or Winthrop. Other than your own box – if you have sent one – the resort had not much to offer in terms of food and drink. I bought some chips and got a couple of cokes out of the vending machine. Sitting in the shade I enjoyed the mountain views and the cold drink. It was only another five miles to the campsite where I would stay tonight.

Being in the North Cascades National Park I had to get a permit and reserve the campsites I wanted to stay at the next few nights. The trail went along the mountainside with occasional lake views but most of the time it went through shady forest.

I arrived at the Pumpkin Mountain Camp at 4 pm. Although the main campsite seemed to be set back in the trees I picked a spot on the beach. Well, a river is flowing into the lake here and it looks like they took down some trees here to create a beach. After setting up camp I went down to the river to take a bath. I only managed to get my legs in because the water coming from the mountains was quite cold. I was kind of waiting for Rocks and Cara to show up but they never did. Strange as Rocks had told me that he had reserved the same campsite for the same date. They might have changed their plans…

From here I have another two and a half days until I get to Glacier which is supposed to be my next resupply point. Tomorrow I have planned on doing 20 miles to get to a camp called Twin Rocks. It would get me into a good position to climb Whatcom Pass the day after. It looks like a horribly steep climb! And at the very same day I will attempt the famous cable car crossing! Stay tuned!

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