West Lake Creek TH to Polar Star Inn

From the West Lake Creek Trailhead ski a snow-covered road up the east side of Card Creek. Stay on the road as it crosses Card Creek at 1/4 mile, then follows the west side of Card Creek another 3/4 mile to another crossing (8,560 feet). Just past this crossing it is critical to swing back right (SW) to stay in the Card Creek drainage. From here the snow-covered jeep trail climbs the east side of the drainage for 1 1/4 miles to another critical junction at 9,370 feet.

Here you turn right (SW) off the jeep trail onto the Card Creek Springs foot trail. Follow this trail S then W past Card Creek Springs (not that obvious), then up 500 vertical feet via 4 switchbacks to Card Creek Saddle (9,980 feet). From the saddle follow the 10th Mountain marked trail as it drops along the New England Traverse W then NW into the Squaw Creek drainage to 9,800 feet. Stay on the trail as it takes a gradually climbing traverse 1/2 mile, crosses Squaw Creek, then follows the Squaw Creek drainage (crosses creek several more times) up to nondescript Squaw Creek Saddle at the head of the drainage (10,620 feet). The trail passes slightly to the east of the low point in the saddle. From Squaw Creek Saddle follow the 10th Mountain marked trail another mile SE to Polar Star Inn and the Seipel Hut.

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