Last week I spent a day exploring the beautiful Okanagan-Wenatchee wilderness of Washington State. Rachel Lake is nestled just beneath Alta Mountain around 4,600 vertical feet. The hike to the lake provides some incredible views of Box Canyon and crosses through a basin before a steep uphill climb, parallel to a system of small waterfalls. You can avoid most of the crowds this time of year by making the trip midweek. Rachel Lake has a few campgrounds scattered around the shore, and the nearby Rampart Ridge offers panoramic views of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
The air was warm and dry in the late morning, and my first instinct upon arriving at the lake was to dive into the dark blue water. The refreshing chill of the melted glacial water made for the perfect swimming temperature. Afterwards, I hiked up Rampart Ridge for another mile to explore a trail that wound through a series of small lakes. On the way down, the air became cool and crisp, and I felt fall hiding in the late afternoon shadows. Everything was quiet and still, except for the occasional shrill squeak of a pika. (Don’t know what that is? Click here.)
Looking for awesome places to get outside in Washington?
Rachel Lake is one of the quieter hikes off the I-90 corridor. For some amazing, #adventureworthy hikes in the North Cascades, check out Hidden Lake and Yellow Aster Butte!
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