Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall Backpacking in Headlight Basin and Lake Ingalls

Mount Stuart from Headlight Basin

This weekend we did a one night backpacking trip in the Alpine Lakes District to Headlight Basin and Lake Ingalls. Jennie and I did this hike last year in a day and it was so beautiful we knew we had to go back and camp overnight this year. And with the phenomenal fall weather we've been having, it was absolutely worth it.

I believe we are currently in the longest stretch of dry weather ever recorded in Seattle (hence all the forest fires around WA). If you look back at our photos from this hike last year, you can see how much snow had already fallen in the mountains by the first week in October.

This year, it was completely dry up there and there wasn't a cloud in sight. It was very smokey by Cle Elum though and we even considered calling the hike off; I'm glad we didn't! Once we got into the mountains it was very clear. The view of Mt. Stuart from this camping spot is amazing. To top it off the stars were out in full-force and the moon bright.

We heard there were mountain goats in the area, but had no idea they were that habituated to humans. We saw one group of three goats grazing on the only little patch of lush vegetation up at Lake Ingalls and then another hanging around the camp sites. When I woke up on Sunday morning I walked out to the edge of the hill and looked down to see the three goats grazing right outside someone's tent. When the people woke up the goats just kept on munching and were not bothered in the least. They wandered through our camp too just as everybody else was waking up. The baby goat was particularly adorable and would whine every time it got a little behind the mother.

Kendra wakes up to a visitor in our camp


  1. *sigh* Alpine Lakes Wilderness is my most favorite place to backpack. Hoping we can get up there with James one of these days.

  2. This is gorgeous! Reminds me of hiking as a little girl with my dad in Montana. :)

  3. I've seen a few people out backpacking with kids this fall. One dad was coming down from this hike with his 6 or 7 yr old son after camping up there on Friday night. They said they had counted 98 people hiking up that day!