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Solitude found at Lichtenwasser Lake

Elusive Lichtenwasser Lake has no published trail, keeping its shoreline from being trampled, despite being only one mile from the Stevens Pass Highway.

By Brad Brisbine

The first lake north of Stevens Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail is popular Lake Valhalla, a fitting picture of its Norse namesake, Heaven. It is particularly lovely in autumn with its surrounding patchwork quilt of red and orange huckleberry leaves.

Having hiked there a dozen times, I had often wondered about its neighbor, Lichtenwasser Lake. The two lakes are separated by Lichtenberg Mountain, towering near-vertical for a 1,000 feet above Valhalla, and greatly adding to its picturesqueness.

Oddly, no trails to Lichtenwasser show on maps, so I had often contemplated how to get there. I recently received a tip on access, so July 5, my hiking buddy Len Lamb and I made our maiden voyage to Lichtenwasser.

We found a good but steep unmarked fisherman’s path to the lake, but somehow lost it on the return trip down. A little leg-scratching bushwhacking delivered us back to the Smithbrook access road, over a mile from where we had entered the woods.

All in all, I was favorably impressed with Lichtenwasser, and the solitude made up for not having the steep side of Lichtenberg.

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