Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bear and Pinnacle Lake Trail - August 4, 2012

This was the first time that we hiked here at Bear and Pinnacle Lake. We were camping at the Turlo Campground on the Mountain Loop Highway and we're looking for something that would take us to a nice, cool, mountain lake. Lake Twenty-Two had an overflowing parking lot, so we skipped that one. I think because this one is about 6 miles up several forest roads, it doesn't see quite as much traffic as the more popular trails like Lake Twenty Two, although there were a number of other hikers on their way to and from Pinnacle Lake.

To get to Bear Lake, it's just a short .3 miles from the parking area to the cutoff. Follow the trail to the right and reach Bear Lake after another .3 miles. From what I've read this is a fisherman's lake or a nice short destination if you aren't up to much of a hike. We didn't actually visit Bear Lake, but just caught a few glimpses of it along the Pinnacle Lake Trail.

View of Bear Lake on the way to Pinnacle Lake
The trail to Pinnacle Lake is kind of rough, rocky and muddy, but well worth the hike! It's about 3.8 miles round trip and gains 1100 ft of elevation. It was a hot day and we were glad to finally reach the tarn, where we stopped for lunch. My youngest son and I took our boots off and soaked our feet in the tarn and it was really refreshing, not to mention beautiful! After we ate and put our boots back on we walked the last .1 miles to the lake itself. It was nice and cool as well and we saw several people swimming in the lake.

View from the trail

Another peak at Bear Lake

Snow on the ground near the tarn.

Coralroot Orchid


The tarn

Tarn life

Getting ready to eat lunch

Cooling off in the tarn

Taking a nap

Pinnacle Lake


Slime mold

Yellow Warbler
Happy Trails!

Barclay Lake Trail - August 2, 2012

Barclay Lake is a hike I like to do every summer. It's not very strenuous, but the lake is really pretty and makes a nice destination. It's a pretty popular hiking destination and the parking lot was almost full on the Thursday morning that we hiked. There are portable toilets at the trailhead. It's about 4.4 miles roundtrip with only a little over 200 feet of elevation gain.

We've hiked here for the last several summers and enjoy it every time we go! The kids have waded in the water when we've gone, although it is usually quite a bit cooler around the lake.

Blueberries were getting ripe.

Our annual children in the stump photos. :)

The most brilliantly colored fungus!

More bright fungus...

A cup fungus

Baring Mountain

Enjoying the lake

Barclay Lake

Happy Trails!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Iron Goat Trail - Scenic Trailhead - August 23, 2012

We went for a hike on the Iron Goat Trail this past week. This is a beautiful area with lots of railroad history. We parked at the Scenic Trailhead (also known as the Iron Goat Interpretive Site), directly off of Highway 2, just East of mile marker 58.3. This is one of 3 trailheads that access the Iron Goat Trail. This trailhead parking area is the only one that does NOT require a NW Forest Pass.

There were a few cars in the parking lot around noon when we arrived. There are restrooms in the parking lot and an older restored caboose to look at before you set out.

We hiked from the Scenic Trailhead to the Martin Creek Trailhead. This portion of the trail is barrier free! It is about 3 miles to Martin Creek. We used the restroom there and headed back down the trail to the first crossover to the upper trail. We had planned to loop around when we got to Martin Creek, but weren't sure where the loop around was. We found a trail that switchbacked away from the Martin Creek trailhead, but weren't quite sure it was the right one, since there was no sign or marker and the map didn't show that portion of the trail as a switchback. We hiked the upper trail all the way to the Windy Point crossover and then back down to the Scenic Trailhead and the cars. It was almost 7 miles round trip. This could be cut shorter by going down to the Martin Creek Trailhead  and back or cutting up on one of the earlier crossover and coming back as well. The lower trail is definitely easier going and would be recommended for those with small children. The Windy Point Crossover takes you down 700 feet over one mile of trail.

Plenty of pretty views along the trail

A Pika that we saw just off the trail.

One of many train tunnels.

A view of a collapsed tunnel.

Trestle style bridge to walk across.

A view of the train running on the newer tracks they use currently.

A view up the old spillway.

Lots of ripe berries along the trail. We saw Huckleberries, Thimble berries, a couple of Blueberries
and these Black Caps (which were delicious by the way!).

We saw quite a few areas where there were sheets of metal that looked like they had
riveted together covering the hillside. Not sure what they were for.

Checking out another tunnel. Most of them were closed off, but had
a certain area that was cordoned off to allow for viewing.

And, of course there was time for chatting along the way as well. :)
Happy Trails!