addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscontroller-playcrossdots-three-verticaleditemptyheartexporteye-with-lineeyefacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgooglegroupshelp-with-circleimageimagesinstagramFill 1light-bulblinklocation-pinm-swarmSearchmailmessagesminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1ShapeoutlookpersonJoin Group on CardStartprice-ribbonprintShapeShapeShapeShapeImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruserwarningyahoo

Ferguson Lake {overnight backpack}

I have not been to Ferguson Lake before, but I have hiked in the area, and I know that the views of the north Cascades are astonishing. The trail is located in the Pasayten Wilderness, which is between SR-20 and the Canadian border. If you want solitude, this is the place for it. 

We start off near Slate Peak, the highest point in Washington that you can drive to. The trailhead will be the highest point of the hike (6,990 feet). We then descend to the middle fork of the Pasayten River, and then go up the other side of the valley to Ferguson Lake. Be prepared to see a lot of wildflowers. There is camping at the lake, and so far as I can tell, campfires are allowed! The fishing is supposed to be pretty good, as well. 

After we leave SR-20 and the town of Mazama, we will drive about 20 miles on a dirt road to Slate Pass. An ordinary car can easily go on the road, but it does get narrow in a few spots. There's plenty of room for your car, but the narrowness can make you a bit nervous if you are not used to this kind of thing. If so, just go slowly, and you'll be fine (we're not racing). 

This hike is not listed in WTA, although there are a few trip reports from last year. That tells me that we'll probably have the entire lake to ourselves. 

Update - 7/11/14:

I don't think that we want to follow the ranger's advice of using trail #472 from Slate Peak. I don't see any way to get from there to Ferguson Lake. Instead, we will park at Slate Peak, and hike the 1/2 mile to the trailhead at Slate Pass.

IMPORTANT: Your vehicle must have four-wheel or all-wheel drive to go from Slate Pass to Slate Peak, because there is some snow on the road (other people's vehicles have already made a path on the road, so it won't be that bad). If your vehicle has two-wheel drive, you could park further down, but that would add at least a mile to the hike.

The Forest Service website has a report from 7/10 that says the trails are mostly free from snow, and the blowdowns have been cleared. The area around Ferguson Lake is almost completely melted out, so we shouldn't have any trouble finding camping sites. 

The National Weather Service lets you get the forecast for a specific latitude and longitude, which is great for determining the expected temperature in the mountains. The high on Saturday is supposed to be about 77 and a low of 54. There is a 20% chance of thundershowers. Sunday is supposed to be mostly sunny and a high of 79.

There is no burn ban in Okanogan County, so we can have a campfire!

See you tomorrow @ 7! Call or text me if you will be late. We will leave at 7:15 if I don't hear anything from you.

Details:
Mileage (round trip): 21.6 - That's the mileage listed in the guidebook. I think it's closer to 16.
Elevation Gain: 2,420 ft
Elevation Loss: 2,640 ft
Maximum Elevation: 6,990
Difficulty: Moderately strenuous (4 out of 5)
Pass: NW Forest Service Pass (NOT the Discover Pass)
Trailhead coordinates: [masked],[masked]
Links: "Hiking the North Cascades", Ferguson Lake, page 213
WTA Trip report
NWHiker: Trip report with photos
Chuck's cell:[masked]
Chuck's car: Black Jeep

Disclaimer: The Pacific Northwest Hiking and Backpacking Group (PNW H&B Group) is not a professional guide service. Our leaders function, as facilitators only, to enhance your outdoor experience. Reports of trail and weather conditions are based on best available information, are subject to change, and are no guarantee of fitness for any particular purpose. You may join us on this hike at your own risk. Keep in mind that hiking involves risks and weather changes quickly in the mountains. You are responsible for your own safety and the more prepared you are, the better the chance you will remain safe.
Signing up for any PNW H&B Group organized event indicates that you have read, understand and agree to the terms of this disclaimer and hold harmless all PNW H&B Group Organizers and Leaders in the event of injury or loss.

Join or login to comment.

  • Jennifer W.

    Had a great time - thanks for organizing!

    July 16, 2014

  • Chuck M.

    Running late. Will b thr at 7.

    July 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I feel the worst about this. But I'm too tired to drive up to Bellevue. Ended up having to run to Portland yesterday and after 3 hrs of sleep I don't think I can safely drive 3 hrs. Really disappointed. Sorry. I hope someone else can share Cindy's tent! Going back to bed y'all. Have an amazing hike!

    July 12, 2014

  • Jen

    I wonder if there is room to park at the PCT camp area, right before slate pass. We can look.

    July 11, 2014

    • Chuck M.

      It's possible. In the absolute worst case, we park at the horse staging area. The report (dated 6/27), said that area was clear of snow.

      July 11, 2014

  • Julia

    Hi guys, sorry I have to drop off. Have a good trip!

    July 11, 2014

  • Cindy O

    Is everyone bringing their own tent or are we doubling up? It's easier to carry a shared tent.

    July 10, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I would share with you Cindy O.

      July 10, 2014

    • Cindy O

      Great, Jessica. We can split up the tent at the P&R. Thx.

      July 11, 2014

  • Andy T.

    It seems the wait group is big enough. Can we form another group to follow the main one, let say half hr behind?

    July 10, 2014

    • Chuck M.

      That works. The Forest Service rules say that the groups must be at least a mile away from each other. Obviously, that doesn't apply for camping.

      July 10, 2014

    • Chuck M.

      BTW, if we end up with a reasonable number of people, like 14 or so, we can always claim that I miscounted! :)

      July 10, 2014

  • Thaddeus_D

    Would have loved to have gone but some family priorities have come up. Keeping my eye open for the next trip!

    July 10, 2014

  • Cindy O

    Chuck,

    Are you coordinating rides before we get to the P&R?

    July 9, 2014

    • Chuck M.

      Having said that, I've never had any problems setting up carpools when we meet at the P&R. I should mention that I've been an assistant organizer in a different meetup group for a year.

      July 9, 2014

    • Cindy O

      OK. Thanks.

      July 9, 2014

  • Carl

    On the wait-list, I have a car but no permit, so do need carpooling. If someone drops out and I ended up in for the trip is there a car spot for me? =) I can bring beer! Just saying...

    July 5, 2014

    • Carl

      =/

      July 9, 2014

    • Chuck M.

      Hope you decide to come. You're now #4 on the waiting list. It's up to you. :)

      July 9, 2014

  • Jen

    Any thoughts on snow at the lake? I spent a few nights at Tuck Lake (5300 ft) and a few camping spots were melted out. Looks like Ferguson is at 6600'.

    1 · July 7, 2014

    • Jen

      I agree. Like you said, the exposure probably means it has melted out by now.

      July 9, 2014

    • Chuck M.

      I finally got through to a ranger. He gave me a few pointers, and I'll write those up in the hike description.

      July 9, 2014

  • Jennifer W.

    Hello,

    Was on the wait list - just got notified that a spot opened up. I will need a ride from the park & ride...better yet - from West Seattle - if anyone lives in that area.

    July 9, 2014

  • Chuck M.

    Drivers, you should be aware that the Forest Service is recommending a "high clearance vehicle" for the road to the trailhead. Don't get too hung up on high clearance. No, you don't want to take an ordinary sedan there at this time. However, if you have a crossover like a Honda CR-V, you'll be fine.
    The Forest Service says about the road to Hart's Pass: "Repair work has been completed and road is open. A high clearance vehicle is better (the higher the clearance the better) as the road is still rough in places but it is better than last year." The URL is http://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/alerts-notices/?cid=stelprdb5368188

    July 8, 2014

    • Chuck M.

      BTW, I should mention that I drove up to Hart's Pass last year, and I saw Priuses parked there. So, if the road is better this year than last, you can draw your own conclusions.

      July 8, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Heading to Montana......have a great time!

    July 5, 2014

  • Chuck M.

    It looks like everybody is okay with Jen bringing her dog on the hike. Jen will have to keep her dog on a leash, because that is a Forest Service rule. According to Jen, her dog is "polite".

    July 1, 2014

  • Andy T.

    Just had to cancel. I will be out of town. Do not think I can be home soon enough to prepare for it. You all have good time.

    July 1, 2014

  • Seth

    Hi guys! I'm moving to Seattle somewhat soon an wanted to say hi! Where do the meets normally take place so I can look for an apartment, or house in that area.

    June 29, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    This is my first hike with this group. Are we meeting at the Park & Ride at 7am, then car-pooling?

    June 27, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Out of country, Enjoy!

    June 24, 2014

  • Cindy O

    I thought we couldn't RSVP for this until June 12. It looks like many already did. I put myself on the wait list.

    May 27, 2014

    • Chuck M.

      Sorry. I am experimenting with the 30-day RSVP on Trailside, and I didn't bother with it in the other group.

      May 27, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      I noticed that on the email but figured I'd give the RSVP button a try anyway. Looking forward to this hike!

      May 28, 2014

12 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy