Spectacle, Glacier and Chikamin Lakes, Chikamin Peak and Lemah One

Spectacle Lake

Spectacle Lake was actually my last destination on this trip, but it is generally the easiest to get to. I made a direct descent from Glacier to Spectacle Lake but the easier way is to take the Pacific Crest Trail (FST 2000)  to the short Spectacle Lake Trail (FST 1306). This journey began at the Mineral Creek Trailhead but if Spectacle Lake is your destination, the Pete Lake Trail (FST 1323) from Cooper Lake offers a shorter route and with less elevation gain. 

Lemah Mountain and Chimney Rock from Spectacle Lake

Glacier and Chikamin Lakes

From the junction of Mineral Creek Trail (FST 1331) and the PCT, follow the PCT south about one half of a mile to a semi flat area at 5300'. Locate a path leading north through a minor saddle in Chikamin ridge. The path mains a short elevation gain before descending steeply through open meadows and rock. It is a bit hard to follow in places but the terrain is generally easy and the idea is to make a mile long descending traverse to 4700' and Glacier Lake. This is a nice lake of the beaten path, but a thousand feet above another lake and several small tarns offer even more rewards. From the outlet of Glacier Lake, follow a path along the north shore to a talus slope. Ascend the talus keeping near the lake shore. Once above the talus, the path can once again be found following the south side of a stream. Continue up this path to a divide. Here the path traverses the right side of a buttress with some occasional scrambling as it ascends to Chikamin Lake. Once at Chikamin Lake it is revealed through a small plaque that the path is the Chikamin Trail, built in memory of a Robert Peck 1940-1967. The trail has not been maintained and I have found no reference to it (I have not checked a USGS map).

Mount Stuart from my bivy site at a tarn near Chikamin Lake

Chikamin Peak

Chikamin Peak lies just south of Chikamin Lake and is a relatively easy ascent on snow and talus. The steepest snow can be avoided by staying on talus but the ascent is quicker and more pleasant on the snow (bring an ice axe). From the first tarn in Chikamin Lake basin, ascend a snow finger just west of the east peak of Chikamin.  Don't be mislead by topo maps that label the peak as the heathery ridge west of the true summit. 

The summit of Chikamin from the west

Lemah One

Lemah One is the lowest of the summits of Lemah Mountain. My original plan was to ascend to a gully that would allow a descent to the Lemah Glacier. When I arrived at the gully I found it melted out and very loose and decided I would have to settle for the summit of Lemah One rather than the main peak. From Chikamin Lake traverse around the lake on its east and north shore to near the Chikamin-Lemah saddle then ascend somewhat steep heather and talus until directly below the rocky summit. The last ten feet is class 4.

Spectacle, Glacier and Chikamin Lakes from the Lemah One route 


The terminus of the Lemah Glacier from the summit of Lemah One

Cascade Alpine Guide Volume 1, second edition; Fred Beckey; Pages 161-163, 166-168
100 Hikes in Washington's Alpine Lakes, second edition; Spring/Manning; Pages; Pages 158-159, 162-163