By Michael Lanza
Some places just find their way into your heart and stick there. I fell in love with the entire North Cascades region of Washington on my first trip to the Glacier Peak Wilderness more than 20 years ago. I’ve returned several times since to backpack and climb, but the Spider Gap-Buck Creek Pass Loop had long been on my to-do list. When I finally got to this five-day, 44-mile hike, it didn’t disappoint, as you’ll see in this photo gallery.
With my family and three friends, I enjoyed five-star views of Glacier Peak and the sea of lower, jagged mountains surrounding it. Not only were spots like Spider Meadows and Spider Gap, the Upper Lyman Lakes basin, Image Lake, and the area around Buck Creek Pass absolutely stunning, but this trip produced one campsite that made my list of 25 all-time favorite backcountry campsites and two camps that made my list of the nicest campsites I’ve hiked past. It’s also one of my top 10 favorite backpacking trips and it harbors one of my favorite backcountry lakes.
Plus, this hike has a little spice: the off-trail route over 7,100-foot Spider Gap, which holds snow all summer and can be challenging, depending on the firmness of the snow and the skill level of the backpackers.
After viewing this photo gallery, see my full story about this trip, “Wild Heart of the Glacier Peak Wilderness: Backpacking the Spider Gap-Buck Creek Pass Loop,” which has many more photos and plenty of information to help you plan this trip yourself.
See my All Trips page for menus of all of my stories about outdoor adventures at The Big Outside.
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