Lake Janus and Grizzly Peak
Seattle: Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Snoqualmie Pass - Central Cascades
Lake Janus (4,146') is along the Pacific Crest Trail in the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness. This large, versatile lake features desirable campsites, open shorelines and a healthy trout stock. The PCT continues 4.8 north miles to Grizzly Peak (5,597'), a more challenging segment that runs across open ridges and meadows along the Cascade crest to the summit.
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Glasses Lake (4,632'), seen from high points on the PCT, covers 22.2 acres and is stocked with cutthroat trout
Undulating, oft-rugged travel on the PCT is interspersed by swales, which are low, generally damp and level tracts of heather and grasses
In Roman mythology Janus was the god of beginnings and transitions, often depicted as looking in opposite directions - one toward the past and the other toward the future
The final approach to Grizzly Peak levels across high open heather with views that stretch south across a line of peaks in the Central Cascades to Mount Rainier
Heather Lake was named by celebrated forest supervisor A.H. Sylvester; though he hadn't actually been there before naming it, he assumed from maps it would be surrounded by heather; in fact, there's no heather at the lake!
Glacier Peak (10,541') is one of 5 active volcanoes in Washington; it's distinguished by over 12 glaciers on its flanks, and is now considered one of the most potentially dangerous volcanoes in the lower 48
Coastal Cutthroat Trout (found in Lake Janus) is one of two cutthroat subspecies native to Washington (the other is Westslope)
Though water is scarce between Janus and Grizzly, you can usually eek out a bottle or two from larger swales in a pinch
Though net elevation gain from Janus to Grizzly is modest, several long climbs and steep up-down sections give this destination a more difficult rating for day hikes
Early maps suggested Lake Janus drained west, but forest supervisor A.H. Sylvester later determined that it in fact drained east; he named it 'Janus' after the two-faced Roman god (source: wdfw.wa.gov).
Grizzly Peaks' rounded, subtle summit is covered in grasses and heather
The PCT runs approximately 60 miles through the 566,000 acre Glacier Peak Wilderness
Grizzly Peak is subtle and unmarked; you'll know you've just passed it when you start dropping through a large grassy meadow with views of Glacier Peak
View of meadows in the upper Rapid River Valley on the descent from Union Gap