Route: Alpine Lakes Loop (WA)

Location
Washington, US
Distance
16 mi
Vertical Gain
3686 ft
Description

This loop is a Seattle-area classic, circumnavigating Granite Mountain in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, just to the north of I-90 at exit 47. The trail links Melakwa Lake, Lower Tuscohatchie Lake, and Pratt Lake between the Denny Creek and Pratt Lake/Granite Mountain trailheads. The route is approximately 16.5 miles as a complete loop connecting the trailheads by road (3.5 mi on the road). It is commonly done both clockwise and counterclockwise, each presenting unique challenges in terms of grade and technicality (counterlockwise is generally considered the faster direction for most runners due to longer and less technical descents).
 

GPS Track
Images

Comments

Trisha Steidl (F) claims to have run sub-3 (2:49 plus a couple short breaks) in the counter-clockwise direction. This was years ago and with no GPS or verification, but I have no reason not be believe her given her reputation for speed, honesty, and humility.

As the person who originally submitted Uli Steidl's time from 2017 to this site, and as the person currently listed as the "unsupported" FKT, I advocate for moving Uli's time into the unsupported category. Given the nature of the route, I'm 99% confident that he was unsupported and don't feel comfortable holding the unsupported FKT so far behind his time. I am still not aware of any times faster than his 2:48 (clockwise), although there are quite a few (also clockwise) times faster than my 3:13 (counterclockwise) that have not been submitted here because they are slower than Uli's.

Oops, got my clocks backwards... not that it matters for the sake of FKTs, but flip the directions I posted in the comment above.

Just to clarify (since Claire DeVoe asked me after completing her FKT whether she had erred by skipping it), the approximately two-minute side trip to the shore of Melakwa Lake and back is NOT required; just complete the loop. The original gpx file submitted for the map on this page includes that little out-and-back spur, which is commonly done because the lake is beautiful and worth seeing and swimming in, but the FKT is just for the loop itself. Strava segments also may or may not match depending on that little deviation, but FKTs are not Strava segments. Cheers!