Spider Meadows ~ Phelps Basin
Phelps Creek Trail
AUGUST 14, 2010 The weather was picture perfect for this Mountaineers BWT hike to Spider Meadows and Phelps Basin. Although we left Seattle around 5:30, the parking lot was full and the road was lined with cars by the time we got to the trailhead. The Phelps Creek trail is an easy trail, climbing gently through pretty woods and crossing many small streams on its way to Spider Meadows. Crossing Leroy Creek was nothing more than a rock hop, unlike the last time I was here, when the water was knee deep and swift. We made quick work of the trail and arrived at the lower meadow in time for lunch. The camp sites were packed with tents and people. We hiked halfway through the meadow to a rock with a grand view of Spider Gap where we stopped for lunch. The wildflowers were lovely, but the mountain vistas steal the show on a day such as this.
We weren't quite ready to call it a day, so we continued on to the upper meadow, crossed Phelps Creek (also just a rock hop instead of the raging creek of my last visit) and headed to Phelps Basin. Phelps Basin has been given more than its fair share of beauty, and we stopped here to enjoy the magnificent scenery. A cool breeze was a welcome touch, both to keep the basin cool and to thin out the hoards of bugs that are inevitable in meadows at this time of year. Eventually, though, even a great hike has to come to an end, and we headed back to the trailhead. We stopped for an after-hike meal at the 59'er Diner.