The Hydrant by Sopwith Camel Mountain via Tunnel Creek / 消防栓

  • Reading time:7 mins read

The Hydrant by Sopwith Camel Mountain shares a saddle with K9 above Trapper Creek. Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) through Hope and Mig Lakes offers a quick jaunt from the south. Moreover, its closeness to Tunnel Creek makes for a short, ideal day trip.

The Hydrant from Tunnel Creek Trail
The Hydrant from Tunnel Creek Trail

See more trip photos here.

The Hydrant at a Glance

Access: Tunnel Creek trailhead
Round Trip: 6.6 miles
Elevation Range: 3120′-5567′
Essential Gear: none
Route Info: Brian Hill
GPS Track: available
Dog-Friendly: yes
Playlist: Keep Moving

Day Hiking Through Tunnel Creek

It was our third time through Tunnel Creek since our trip to Lux Peak in 2019. Since it was high summer, I wanted to start sooner rather than later to avoid the lake crowds. As expected, we arrived at a packed lot, where I parked on the side of the narrow main road.

Starting at 7:30 AM, this time of the year, it felt late when the sun was high in the sky. We strolled the quiet trail, and I occasionally poked my head out of the trees to see across the valley. Before long, we reached Hope Lake atop Basin Creek, with tents across the water.

A pitstop at Hope Lake
A pitstop at Hope Lake

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Climbing via Hope Lake and PCT

After a break and meeting two backpackers, we went south on the PCT. Views were scarce in the trees, but once in a while, the impressive Bulls Tooth to the east would appear. Terrain expanded as the trail rose through a steeper incline over the top of the rock field.

We left the trail from the 5200′ saddle southeast of The Hydrant as PCT dipped through the meadow. Following the ridgeline covered in dense shrubs, we soon reached the flat summit in 400′. After pacing the forest, a forested area looked like the high point.

K9 west of the saddle from The Hydrant
K9 west of the saddle from The Hydrant

See more trip photos here.

Viewing Alpine Lakes Wilderness from The Hydrant

Trees lined the crest with steep drop-offs on the south. So we stayed in the open field while viewing K9‘s impressive east side. Views of the distant peaks included Baring Mountain, Kyes Peak, and even Cashmere Mountain in The Enchantments. Meanwhile, mosquitoes were relentless!

I shot some drone footage north of the ridge inside the national forest. Then, I took photos of the lesser-known Nimbus Mountain and Thor Peak before retracing our steps. A brief stop by the lake, and we soon strolled 1.5 miles back to an even more crowded trailhead.

South panorama with Thor Peak and Nimbus Mountain
South panorama with Thor Peak and Nimbus Mountain

See more trip photos here.

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