Monday, February 23, 2015

Rainbow Lake 2015-02-23

8.55 Miles and 3,019 feet of elevation gain.

Another wonderful spring day in the middle of winter.  We went up the old trail then past Mason Lake and on to Rainbow Lake.

We have never been to Blazer Lake and I thought it would be nice to include it.  It looks like it is only a short distance from Rainbow but I have never noticed a trail on previous trips through the area.  We did see some foot prints in the snow heading in the right direction, but they turned around at a swampy area.  I decided to do the same, too lazy to bushwhack.   Very little snow, most of the trail was snow free.

Just prior to Rainbow Lake, we met our first person on the trail, a guy doing a 27 mile trail run on his day off, what fun.  I forgot to ask if he was training for the Cascade Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run.  He did mention that last year at this time he was in show up to his knees.

I sat  in a sunny spot by the Rainbow Lake and had a snack,  very relaxing.  Another plus, no bugs!

I haven't been on the new Mason Lake trail since we discovered the old trail.  For a change of pace we went down it.   It was amazing how many people were coming up the trail on a Monday!  We met more people than on all our other hikes put together in the last year. 

Google Maps link

On the old trail to Mason Lake.

A mostly frozen Mason Lake and Little Bandera.

The no name lake and Pratt Mountain.  A nice alpine lake, I don't know why it doesn't have a name.

 Rainbow Lake

 Mount Defiance

Kaleetan Peak?

Putrid Pete's Peak

McClellan Butte

The big mountain

Back at the parking lot.  Four or five years ago, this is what it would look in the summer on a weekend not on a Monday.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Dirty Harry's Peak and Bathtub 2015-02-17

10.02 miles and 4,512 feet of elevation gain.

The parking area is a little over a half mile from the trailhead.  It is on the access road to the Fire Training Academy and has a gate that is locked at the end of the day.  A trail from the parking area rejoins the road next to the river.  A few boot paths are along the road shortly after crossing the river.  I believe these lead to rock climbing areas.  The Dirty Harry's trail is much farther down the road.  Most of this hike is on old logging roads that resemble a rocky creek bed more than a road.  It was a nice sunny day for a hike and no bugs.

We went to the peak first and then the pond.  Shortly after starting up the trail to the pond, the trail leaves the rocky old road and becomes a steeper path up the hill.  It is easy to lose the trail in a couple of spots.

Google Maps link

On the way up.  Did I mention this is a rocky trail?

At the east end of the peak looking down the cliff about 1,700 feet to the smaller of Granite Lakes.

Revolution Peak, the little white spot to the left is the old cabin.

The sun is too bright for Sly.

The west end of the peak, I-90 below.

Dirty Harry's Bathtub sits in a bowl of large boulders.  When I first came to the boulders it looked easier to continue along the side, unfortunately, that just took us higher than was necessary and meant more boulders to climb down.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Zig Zag Trail to Old Fuel Truck 2015-02-05

6.48 miles and 2,846 feet of elevation gain.

I saw the Zig Zag trail on Google Maps when I was making the link for the Change Peak hike.  I didn't know the name until after some research.

It was a wet, raining, drizzly and coldish day with only a few breaks in the low clouds to get a view.  Not the best hiking weather but a good workout and a chance to explore a new area.  The Zig Zag trail appears to have had some significant work done in the last year or so.  At a little over a mile from our parking spot, the trail ends at an intersection on road nf-9021.  This road is open to the public but we didn't see anyone.  We continued on the road going up hill until we reached the fuel truck.  In Google Maps satellite view you can just make out the fuel truck.

Google Maps link

Blue found something to rub in.  At least with the soggy weather, it didn't dry before I could wash it off in Hall Creek.

Old Fuel Truck

A little rain doesn't bother the dogs at snack time.

MidMountain Mountain is the bump at the end of the ridge just to the left of center, in the clouds to the right is Mount Washington and Change Peak is on the right.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Change Peak 2015-01-26

10.21 miles and 3,660 feet of elevation gain.

A close in hike that I haven't been up this trail in several years.  We started up the rock climbers trail on the west side of the Change Creek bridge and followed the John Wayne trail until the start of the Change Creek trail, which is by the Hall Creek bridge.  You can also go up an old road trail that follows Hall Creek and then cross over Hall Creek to the trail on the west side of the bridge.  The Change Creek trail is in better shape than I remember and now has several signs.  Sometime we'll have to check out Hall's Point and J's Landing.  And then there is the sign right out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon (as one trip report noted) that reads "Short Cut".  You do want to take the short cut.

I was expecting snow at the higher elevations and maybe some cold temperatures, so I had snow boots and thick socks.  No snow and the weather was quite warm and sunny, bordering on hot.  Fortunately I had brought some sock liners, in case my feet got cold, and at least got rid of the heavy socks.  Rolling up my pants really helped on the initial climb up the sun soak side of the ridge.

Didn't see anyone until we were almost to the top and then ran into one person coming down.   I was surprised to see anyone, this isn't a popular peak.  I didn't even know it had a common name until researching trip reports.

Google Maps link

Base on the Change Creek bridge

Looks like someone recently "girdled" trees growing under the bridge. 

View of Change Creek from the bridge.

The Change Creek trail starts right behind Blue.

You can see the sign from the bridge.

The trail is very rocking until after you get to the top of the ridge.

View from the end of the ridge.

 Blue thinks I'm taking too long taking pictures.

I-90 corridor

Mount Washington from the start of the Great Wall.

At the end of an old logging road spur, a boot path heads up to the peak.

Some renegade work has been on the trail to the peak and a little trimming to afford some view. 

 Hall Creek