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Friday, July 22, 2011

Lake Janus

Well, we ventured to Lake Janus today (July 22nd) off of Highway 2 Stevens Pass east.  The trail is 7 miles round trip. According to my sources, this is best traversed mid July to October.  So, I should have known, since our summer has been terrible that the trail was not ready for us.  We made it about 1 mile before the snow overtook the trail and we could go no further. There was mud and water most of the way, so our shoes were soaked by the end.

We did make it to a nice viewpoint where there was a pond/swamp area. I noticed a lot of bugs while we were there because of the standing water so I would suggest using bug repellent or using a bug bracelet. 

I would suggest making this trek in August or September to make sure the trail is dry and the snow is mostly melted.  This trail is medium in difficulty and I wouldn't suggest bringing young children.  My boys are 9 and 11 and they were fine.  The trail is uphill and steep in some areas with an elevation gain of 1100 feet. I was very unhappy that we were unable to finish what we started, but I figured it was better to turn around than have to spend the night in the snow after getting lost.

You do not need a wilderness pass to park at the Smith Brook trailhead.  There are also no potties, so I would stop at the Skykomish ranger station on the way and use the restroom there (aka stinky port a potty).

To get to the Smith Brook trailhead you  take US2 East about 55 miles.  You will pass the Skykomish Ranger Station on the way.  Turn left on the Smith Brook Road NO. 6700.  You will stop at the stop sign and go straight across US2 West continuing on Smith Brook Road.  You will drive this road (mostly dirt) for 3 miles and reach the trailhead on the left.

I suggest whenever taking a hike in the wilderness to sign in on the log book at the entrance to the trailhead.  You will enter the number in your party and the date just in case something happens.  When you return to the trailhead, sign out and the park ranger will know you have arrived safely.  This is a great safety precaution just in case.

My boys favorite part was when we got back to the trailhead.  Here is a clip.

We plan to do this hike again towards the end of summer so keep your eyes out.

On the way home we did stop at another destination hike that I will post soon.

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