Alpine Lakes Adventure (Trip) - Grade 6-7


Alpine Lakes Adventure (Trip) - Grade 6-7


(formerly Ross Lake Ramble)

Monday, July 17 - Wednesday, July 19, 2017 (Sold out.)

Pre-Trip Meeting (Mandatory): Sunday, July 16, 2017

Join us for three days of fun in the sun along the shores of wilderness waters! We'll set out from the trailhead amidst the towering peaks of the North Cascades, winding our way over tumbling creeks, through lichen-draped trees. The trail undulates with a healthy mix of up and down on its way to some of the shimmering jewels of the North Cascades. Our destination will either be the Green Point site on Ross Lake or the wilderness sites beside Anderson and Watson Lakes, high up in an alpine basin with straight-on views of Mt. Baker. The next two days will be spent roaming mountain meadows, cold water swimming and playing by the lakeshore, and taking in the spectacle of stars and looming peaks. See photos and learn more about the area here. Note: this trip will either go to Anderson Watson Lakes or Ross Lake depending on snow levels in July. 

Total trip miles: 6 miles with full packs, collaboratively decided additional distance in day hike explorations.


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2017 Itinerary

Monday, July 17 - Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Pre-Trip Meeting (Mandatory): Sunday, July 16, 2017. Time: 1:00-4:00PM. Location: Cascade Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Ave, Bellingham. Directions. Participants should bring backpack and everything on the gear list they plan to bring on the trip. While this meeting is for participants only, we're happy to fill parents in on everything we discuss! 


Meet at Cascade Montessori Middle School, 2710 MacKenzie Ave, Bellingham at 9:00AM. We’ll do a final gear check, then load our packs and ourselves onto the Wild Whatcom bus for a song-singing drive to the Anderson Watson Lakes trailhead, high above Baker Lake.

After lunch, we’ll strap our packs on our backs and begin our ascent through a mossy hemlock forest, and before long will gain spectacular views west toward the mighty Komo Kulshan (Mt. Baker).

After a mountain meadow meander, we’ll reach Anderson Lake, nestled below in a rocky cirque. The group will collaboratively decide whether to set up camp alongside Anderson or forge on to Watson Lake. After setting up our wilderness home, we'll explore the shoreside area until dusk descends. Nighttime will bring its own magic, with a sky bursting with stars you can only see in the far-off places.


After breakfast and morning chores, we’ll shoulder our day packs and roam and ramble over the high country, spending the day exploring this alpine lake basin. Perhaps we’ll venture up to dramatic and rugged Upper Watson Lake, or challenge ourselves to gain the views of Shuksan and Baker from Anderson Butte. Regardless of our decision, our focus will be connecting with ourselves, one another, and the wilderness through play, exploration, skill-building and solo time. This is the place to be true explorers, where humans are only visitors, and nature is at its most wild. We’ll return to camp for dinner and stories 'round the fire before climbing into our tents for another night beside lake water lapping, lulling us to sleep.


We’ll spend this final day learning how to leave a place with no traces but our footprints as we pack up camp and say goodbye to the special sights and sounds, peace and play of the mountain wilderness. We’ll take our time heading down the trail, stopping to explore along the way, arriving back at the bus after lunch. It’s likely to be a drowsy drive back to Bellingham, each of us holding the treasures of our experience and a new connection to each other. Parents: plan on a trip report from the girls before we unload gear and you whisk them home to a shower!

Pick-up: Meet at Cascade Montessori Middle School, 2710 MacKenzie Ave, Bellingham at 4:30PM.

Learning Outcomes: Lessons learned and concepts covered on this adventure include an in-depth exploration of all Wild Whatcom mottos, healthy and supportive interpersonal communication, Leave No Trace (TM) ethics, collaborative leadership development, common sense camping, analyzing hazards and how to mitigate their risk, integrity, dealing with discomfort, exploring how our thinking affects our reality, ecology and botany of lakeshore ecosystems, wilderness awareness, survival priorities, navigation, preparedness, wildlife behavior, human impact on ecosystems, working with and through fears, collaboration and compromise, mountain weather systems,  human and natural history, practicing gratitude, beginning backpacking skills, understanding personal potential, and more!

Participant trip questionnaire and tetanus immunization required to participate.

Trip Training Tips

3 Day Trip Pack List