Mileage: 18.6 miles
Elevation Gain/Highest: 3900/5900ft (top of Fortune Mtn.)
Map: Green Trails Benchmark Mountain No 144
Favorite Eats After Hike: Wallace Falls Cafe
9/11/2015 Another quick overnighter after work, couldn’t stop taking pictures it was so amazing. The fall colors made it feel like walking in a painting. The trip started on the Meadow Creek Trail as it follows the creek 6.5 miles gradually up to the set of Fortune Ponds that sit below a pass over to Pear Lake. The Cascade Crest trail once ran through here and I could see the old trail on the slope beyond the ponds.
From the ponds (the trail only goes past the lower one, the upper one sits up higher and I would have scramble up to it), the trail took a steep turn up tight switchbacks another half mile to a saddle below Fortune Mountain and I could see Pear Lake below me with the Cascade Mountain range in the horizon. It was stunning and is now one of my favorite places to view the North Cascades! From here, I took a long switchback over a large bouldered talus field down to the lakeside.
Pear Lake was a little crowded, so I headed to Top Lake off the PCT and was rewarded with silence and solitude as the sun went down. Except for the lovely deer roaming my camp. Explored the outlet for Pear Lake the next day. Scrambled up Fortune Mountain on the way back, probably would have been better without the full pack and if there had actually been a trail to follow. Nice views of Peach Lake and Glacier Peak. Quite a bit of a scramble on the way down but I did get to explore the upper Fortune Ponds because of it.
Directions: From Everett drive east on Highway 2 for 50 miles, turning left onto Beckler River Road. Continue north for almost seven miles to the end of the pavement and a three-way junction. If you cross a bridge over Rapid River, you’ve gone too far. Turn right onto FR 6530 and proceed for almost 5 miles to the TH on the left side of the road. There is room for about 3-4 cars on the right hand shoulder just past the TH.
I visited this area in 2016 and again in 2017, you can read and view more pictures in Out With the Girls and What’s The Loss Of A Little Skin In Trade For Adventure?