Sunday, August 4, 2013

Recent Hikes: Thunder Creek, Source Lake, and Lodge Lake

A couple of weeks ago, I went on a Mountaineers hike to Thunder Creek in the North Cascades.  It was a long hike (about 12 miles) without much elevation gain and the weather was in the low 80s.  Somehow, although I was drinking water throughout the day, I became dehydrated and at the end of the hike I was not feeling well at all.  However, I recovered and lived to hike another day, this time with more electrolytes.

Thunder Creek is an energetic tributary of the Skagit River and features swift currents, rapids, and an unmistakable roar that was omnipresent throughout the hike.  Here are a few pictures:

The trailhead. From here you can hike all the way to Stehekin on Lake Chelan! I chose not to.

Bridge over the creek about a mile in

The creek from the bridge

Devil's Club - I want some for my garden

The Creek

Lunch and turnaround spot.  The fun ended for me a few hours later.
This was a nice hike but not as spectacular as I have grown to expect from the North Cascades (jaded much?).

Yesterday, I got back on the horse, so to speak, and hiked near Snoqualmie Pass with enhanced liquids (i.e. Nuun).  The weather was cool, there were clouds off and on, and while we hiked a total of about nine miles with about 1200 feet of elevation gain, it didn't seem very physically taxing.

First we parked at the Alpental Ski Area parking lot and headed up the Snow Lake Trail which I hiked in 2008.  At about 1.7 miles we took a left to the Source Lake overlook.  After another half mile or so, we arrived at the the overlook:

Source Lake - the source of the Snoqualmie River

Overcast day - quintessential Northwest
We returned to the cars and drove to the other side of the freeway to the Snoqualmie Summit Ski Area. After asking directions from the always courteous and friendly forest rangers, we eventually found the trailhead for the Lodge Lake Trail which coincidentally, is also the Pacific Crest Trail.

Trailhead for Lodge Lake
We headed up the trail through lush forest until we emerged onto the ski runs themselves which, in the summer, are slightly degraded alpine meadows.  Degraded because in addition to Indian Paintbrush, lupines, and other natives, we also saw grass and dandelions which detract a bit from the experience.

Snoqualmie Summit Ski Area

Ski lifts abandoned for the summer

Looking down the hill to I90

Eventually, we arrived at Lodge Lake, named for a lodge that was built nearby in the early 20th century but is long gone.  I was told it burned down in the 1940s.  The lake is pristine and all you hear are birdcalls and wind in the trees.

Lodge Lake

Skunk Cabbage - it's past stinky time now.  Stinking is for springtime.

This is how I want my garden to look!  Devil's Club and Lady Fern.

A thriving Deer Fern - mourning my late backyard specimen.

Fungus anyone?

So... pretty but unspectacular hikes.  Am I getting jaded?

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