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Only one Surprise: Hike to Surprise and Glacier Lakes
Timestamp Free: 2018.04.20 - 09:54:30
Ranges: North America Ranges / Pacific Cordillera Range / Cascade Range / Washington Cascades
  (1 days)     Elevation Gain: 670m
Participants: Lucas Earl, Ethan Barrett, Kenny McDermith, Lilah (the dog)
Difficulty: 1: Easy on trail hiking
Hike up the Surprise Creek Trail to Surprise and Glacier Lakes
Weather: Sunny and pleasant turning to partly cloudy with high clouds by early afternoon.

Surprise and Glacier lakes sit on the south side of US RTE 2, east of the some of the more popular Foss River trails. The three of us planned a quick Saturday day hike, with the intention of being back in Seattle so Ethan could go to work in the evening.

We found accessing the trailhead a little difficult. The road is unmarked on the right, as you head east on US 2. It is immediately beyond a small group of cabins also on the right hand side of the road. If you pass by a sign for the Old Cascade Highway, or cross the bridge over the railroad tracks, you've gone too far. [photo]01_road_jct.jpg[caption]Street View of the road junction. View going eastbound on US 2[/photo]

After turning onto the unmarked forest road (FS-840 on the map) we immediately ran into trouble at the railroad crossing. There is a big open gravel area here, and as we arrived there was a set of stopped railroad cars across the tracks. We ended up parking on this side, and crossing the tracks to follow the forest road to the trailhead. If you are concerned about being trapped on the wrong side of the tracks when finishing your hike, I'd recommend parking on the side closer to US 2.

It's a quick 0.3 miles from here to the real trailhead, following the road to the right immediately after crossing the tracks. We saw a couple of cars parked here, before heading up the powerline access road/trail from here at 10 AM. The trail breaks out below a couple of large powerlines, before reaching a nice trail sign indicating the distance to Surprise Lake and the PCT. [photo]02_IMG_3476.jpg[caption]Trail sign where the trail leaves the access road[/photo]

Passing under the powerlines we could hear the...

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