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Trip Report

Rampart Ridge Backdoor

Snoqualmie Region

Trip Report By

Hiked Aug 26, 2013

Type of Hike

Day hike
It had been a couple years since visiting Rampart Lakes, and we decided a trip to the area was due. We chose the "back door" approach coming in on the Forest Road that turns off just before the parking area for Mt. Margaret and Twin Lakes past Gold Creek Pond trailhead. Follow the Gold Creek road past the pavement and wind on up the gravel road to a sharp switchback with a road heading left in the middle of the sharp turn. Road "136" as Green Trails calls it is in good shape and brush isn't too bad. It's narrow, but at the moment almost any vehicle would be fine. Park in the area at the end of switchback where there usually is a log and firepit. Headed off to Laura Lake up the steep Rocky Run trail that follows along the Rocky Run drainage ravine. Be aware that just before the trail junction that does down to Laura you'll find a wasp nest in the middle of the trail in a hole by some tree roots. We marked with some orange tape as anyone (everyone) walking the trail will get stung. Just go off trail to the left or right and avoid the short 10 foot section. We knew it was there and still came on it and got stung, so we marked it for others. After passing the Laura Lake junction the trail heads up to Lillian Lake which was as beautiful as ever, but not showing Fall colors yet. We chose to scramble over the big rock to the right as it was dry and not slippery. There is another way over via a boot path that takes off back down the trail by the fire pit. Headed counterclockwise around Lillian and then headed up the steep narrow gorge through the notch to the ridge above. It's steep and loaded with blueberries. It is also pretty short which is good. Follow the trail to the first tarn, and just after that you'll have a choice of either going right or left. The right will take you to the East side of the ridge and down to the East side of the lakes. The left will take you past a couple more tarns and lead to the West side of the ridge and easier access to Rampart Ridge proper. We explored by taking the East side (right) trail up to the top of the ridge, then traversed across the top of the ridge toward the West and Rampart Ridge proper. Great views and there are a couple off trails down gullies/ravines that will lead you down to the lakes. We crossed the South ridge and then needed to drop down a 20-25 foot cliff to get onto the Rampart Ridge proper. We found a notch in the cliff and climbed down. It looked like it had been used before by hikers traversing the same way we did. Once down it was easy access (well sort of) to the upper part of Rampart Ridge. The trail will pass by what looks like a rock summit block and we almost stopped there, but decided to follow the trail further along the ridge and come to summit block near the middle of the ridge. The rock is real slabby here and you simply climb up like stairs. At 5760 we were at the top of the slab and views West down to Gold Creek pond and points West (Guye Peak, Sonqualmie Mt., Lundin Peak, Kendall Peak, Red Mountain, and loads more.) and to the North/West the views down to the Rampart Lakes, HiBox Mt. and ridge, Alta Mountain, and lots of unknowns peaks. Total mileage was 6 miles rountrip and the Alimeter recorded 3200' in elevation gain/loss. We did not go down to the Rampart Lakes basin, but will return when Fall colors come on. Bugs were pretty minimal. Saw no one on the trail all day. Did get rained on coming out, but no thunder or lightning that had been forecast. All in all a great hike and well worth the workout. If interested, here are more pictures of the trip: