White Clouds of Idaho, Boulder Chain Lakes and Castle Peak Loop

 

I had a great fall trip in which 3 of my kids joined me on a backpack. Laura just started her own defense attorney law practice in Everett WA, Ciera just started a new job as an architect in Seattle, and Jim is in his third year year of mechanical engineering at Boise State U. 

We hiked in to Washington Lake, past 4th of July Lake. The trail head is east of Redfish Lake, just past the Forest Service work center. The trail head is high in elevation, and its only about 400' elevation gain, and about 3 or 4 miles. Below: Washington Lake, an easy first day destination. 

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 Ciera on the hike in.  

Ciera on the hike in.  

 Laura heading to Chamberlain Lake

Laura heading to Chamberlain Lake

We spent the night at Chamberlain Lake in what is likely the best campsite I've ever been in. Its about 6 miles to the lake from Washington Lk. We decided to continue on the loop around Castle Pk, and end up at 4th of July Lk in 4 more days.  

 Chamberlain Lake. 

Chamberlain Lake. 

The next day, day 3, we headed around Castle Lk and made it to Hatchet Lk, the lowest lake in the Boulder Chain Lakes. The next day we headed up the Boulder Chain Lakes, passing some very nice lakes, on the way to the pass "Windy Devil". From Windy Devil we traversed around the basin first to a small lake, then to the cross country pass "Devil's Staircase."

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 Hammock Lake in the Boulder Chain Lakes. 

Hammock Lake in the Boulder Chain Lakes. 

 Small lake with view of Castle Pk, below Devil's Staircase. 

Small lake with view of Castle Pk, below Devil's Staircase. 

 Looking down from the top of Devil's Staircase to Born Lakes.  

Looking down from the top of Devil's Staircase to Born Lakes.  

From Devil's Staircase we viewed the beautiful Born Lakes, of which there are about 4 of them. We started down the "staircase", and Laura quickly concluded it was a suicide mission. It was definitely not a trail, and with most steps you slide down in a surfing / sking style. If you fell down, you'd land on your butt, not fall off a cliff. 

 

 Laura on her "suicide mission" going down the Devil's Staircase

Laura on her "suicide mission" going down the Devil's Staircase

 Bonn Lake at dusk.  

Bonn Lake at dusk.  

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 Laura and Bob on the pass between Born Lakes and 4th of July Lakes. 

Laura and Bob on the pass between Born Lakes and 4th of July Lakes.