Minotaur Lake and Theseus Lake Summary
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Round trip to Theseus Lake: 6 miles, 2000 ft. elevation gain
Green Trails Map: Benchmark Mountain
High point: 5500 ft
Directions: Drive Highway 2 about 4.5 miles east of Stevens Pass. Turn northwest on Smith Brook Road (Forest Road 6700). Turn left at the first junction onto FR 6704, and drive about three miles to the parking area. Peer closely into the trees to find the trailhead sign and the beginning of the trail, at 3,800 feet of elevation. You can also reach the trailhead from Lake Wenatchee, via FR 6500, which intersects with 6700 and climbs along Rainy Creek to the junction with 6704.
Trail #1517: So, I must admit that I really didn't do my research for this hike, but decided one July day to hike it on a whim. What I missed by not reading up on the trail was the expectation of a 2,000 foot climb in little under three miles, with 1,500 of it being in the first mile. That's right folks, it's straight up! But hey if a four-year-old, a five-year-old, a six-year-old and a couple of almost 30-year-old moms can do it, then take heart, so can you.
The lake is gorgeous and it is spread out before you after that last 500 foot ridge climb. In late July when we got to Minotaur Lake, the far end of it was still covered in ice, with little icebergs floating around. Did that stop us from going swimming??? Of course not, but it did prevent us from staying in too long!!! The great thing about this lake is that you can hike all the way around it, and the climb up to Labyrinth Mountain is not as formidible as it might sound. The lake reminds me of pictures I have seen of the Scottish Highlands.
You can also bushwack down to Theseus Lake if you want to scramble back up, but we didn't. Instead we climbed to the ridge between the two lakes where there are some great views, and that was enough for me. The kids thoroughly enjoyed the swimming and the snow sledding, and us moms enjoyed getting to the top in one piece. Although it took us 2 1/2 hours to get to Minotaur Lake it should take the average hiker without kids, probably only an hour and a half. The trip is 6 miles round trip, and add a little more for exploring. Tack on another 1.5 miles (and 2 hours) if you are going to bushwack down to Theseus Lake where there are a few campsites. There are also a few campsites on the shores of Minotaur Lake.
Would I reccommend this hike?? Definitely...it's gorgeous and worth every grueling step.
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