Stehekin Valley Ranch into Glacier Peak Wilderness

Our small trapper cabin allowed for magnificent sleep last night! When bedtime rolled around, the single room was still warm from the heat of the day and the small windows on the north and south sides of the building were not providing any airflow so I left the front door open all night. There is no screen door, but no bugs or animals came in for a nighttime visit. So much good sleep.

Breakfast was a buffet of breakfast casserole, sausage, bacon, hash browns, and french toast. We ate our fill of the great food and sipped on coffee boiled over open fireplace flames. Sometimes you need to take your time to appreciate great things. This breakfast and coffee were our Mona Lisa.

Bethany, our lovely host and bus driver had us back to the trail by 8:45am, where a horde of hiker trash was waiting. What a difference a day makes! Where there were 5 of us waiting yesterday, there were 20-30 eager and excited faces today. I do not know if any of them were offered rooms at the ranch. I do know that I am exceedingly thankful we arrived yesterday instead of today.

Trail Details

Brianna and I expected the trail to be challenging today, and it was. The first 11 miles were rolling hills of mostly up, paralleling and crisscrossing the South Fork Agnes Creek for a majority of it. We didn’t have to carry more than half a liter of water all day, but our packs were full of 6 days worth of food. It was difficult to know how far we could get on day 1, with full packs and steep inclines after mile 11, so we just kind of took the day as it came. Why push super hard going uphill with full packs on day 1 when we would eventually have lighter packs and be going downhill?

We could and may do this section in less than 6 days if we average more than 17.9 miles per day, but again… what’s the rush? Around this time last year is when Brianna had to jump off the Ice Age Trail because of a back injury. A solid reminder that adventures and life can both end abruptly!

Camp for tonight is a pretty cool spot, with a toilet! The toilet thing is actually not that unique, we are seeing more wooden toilets at more of the campsites in this section. It’s a pretty smart way of controlling the number of poop holes dug randomly throughout the wilderness area; I especially enjoy forest views while playing euchre on my phone.


A new neighbor arrived shortly after we started settling into camp! Meet, Townie, from Alberta, Canada! She received her trail name because she loves visits to trail towns and tends to get stuck in them for days. Most recently, she spend 4 days in Leavenworth, WA, drinking German beer and hanging out with the locals.