Theseus and Minotaur by Labyrinth Mountain via Minotaur Lake / 忒修斯

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Theseus and Minotaur by Labyrinth Mountain rise above Minotaur Lake Trail. Meanwhile, they feature immense views into Henry M. Jackson Wilderness. Both peaks are doable as a day trip because of the short hike up to the lake.

Theseus from Minotaur
Theseus from Minotaur

See more trip photos here.

Theseus and Minotaur at a Glance

Access: Minotaur Lake Trailhead
Round Trip: 5 miles
Elevation Range: 3800′-6262′
Gear: none
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes

Minotaur Lake Basin

Seven years have passed since we first set foot on Labyrinth Mountain. But today, the pup and I came back for Theseus and Minotaur above Minotaur Lake. They are the protagonists in the fascinating tail of Greek mythology.

There were many highlights during the old trip as the only party in the lake basin. Seeing both Theseus Lake and Minotaur Lake from Labyrinth Mountain was the most memorable. It also felt incredibly surreal at the time.

See more trip photos here.

Minotaur Lake Trail

Smithbrook Road (NF-6700) turnoff at Highway 2 to the trailhead was only 7.7 miles. But the bumpy drive ended up taking over half an hour. The rockiest part was the final switchback leading to the pass.

We began walking at 1:30 PM from a half-empty lot. But it only took a few minutes before the trail shot straight uphill. On the way in, we met four parties as they came down. Then I chatted with them briefly before moving again.

West ridge view
West ridge view

See more trip photos here.

Theseus and Minotaur: Theseus Climb

We later left the trail at 5300′ and went north-northeast toward Theseus west ridge. Soon, we reached the forested ridgeline at 5800′. Then it was only another 200′ vertical gain to the top.

The top sported a 180-degree, clear view from northwest to southeast. But trees had taken over the other half of the summit. The landscape on the visible side in direct sunlight was dramatic nonetheless.

See more trip photos here.

Theseus Summit Views

I poked my head around the trees above the cliffs to see the lakes, But the safer way to check out the lakes was by going down the ridge a short distance. That’s also where we spent the bulk of our visit.

Theseus was also an excellent spot to view the two lakes. The view of Minotaur Lake sitting above Theseus was just gorgeous. Plus, the massive Labyrinth Mountain sat directly above the water.

Dark clouds covered the famous mountains to the distant north. But the visible peaks nearby were Mount Howard, Mount Mastiff, and Rock Mountain. All three were high points on the Nason Ridge.

I also saw Dirtyface Lookout and Dirtyface Peak on Dirtyface Mountain. The glaring light had made it hard to distinguish the southern peaks. But I could still see Big Chiwaukum, Mount Stuart, and Lichtenberg Mountain.

Lake basins panoramic view from Theseus
Lake basins panoramic view from Theseus

See more trip photos here.

Minotaur Climb

We made our way down to Minotaur Lake an hour later. At the same time, we stayed south of the crest to avoid dense shrubs and minor outcrops. Then, from the southern lakeshore, we went through the meadows on one of the various paths.

Soon, at 5800′, we reached Minotaur’s southeast basin. From there, we used a faint trail to the right of the talus while walking on scree and heather. Then from then ridge at 6100′, we made it up to the top in another 150′.

See more trip photos here.

Lake basins panoramic view from Minotaur
Lake basins panoramic view from Minotaur

Minotaur Summit Views

Minotaur was yet another terrific place with views! The visible high points in the area included Jim Hill Mountain and Jove Peak. Then there were more of the ones we saw from Theseus earlier.

I also saw Sloan Peak and Bedal Peak, but Glacier Peak was no longer visible. The wind speed slowly increased in the late afternoon. But it was still comfortable enough to enjoy another hour of summit time.

See more trip photos here.

Thanks for an amazing afternoon
Thanks for an amazing afternoon

Outro

The lake basin looked empty when we made our way down to the trail. Then we proceeded to go back down the forest. Later we reached our lone car in the lot five hours after we started. It was 40 minutes till sunset.

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