Forum Index > Trip Reports > Monsters in the Mist: Turquoise lake, Welcome lake.
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hikestofish
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PostThu Jul 04, 2019 12:00 am 
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July 1st

I was originally planning on doing a linkup of a few lakes via Tonga Ridge Trail fisher, ptarmigan, Mary, June, Darek, and hummingbird lakes. But because of weather we decided on Turquoise, Welcome and Cuitin lakes.

Plan was to hike to turquoise lake and camp there for the night. Next day run up to welcome then move camp to Cuitin for the second night then hike back out via French ridge trail.

Left the trail around 10 am hiking was uneventful for the first 5 miles until we left French creek trail and started up French ridge. Plan here was to find a bootpath or the “low route” to the lake. This never happened and at 5000 we cut off and ended up bushwhacking until we met up with the trail at about 5100.  This whole section was in pretty bad shape basically a bushwhack from the second you leave French creek.


4.39 hours, 8.59 miles, 3333ft elevation gain to turquoise lake. We split off French creek to French ridge at 5.3 miles, 1.37 hours and 500ft elevation… Good times!

Lake was beautiful! Setup camp on the peninsula. The wind kept the bugs away and fishing was great! super fun lake to fish Decent range of sized fish too. Caught a few in the 12-inch range but mostly 8-10 inches. However, they were all very thin. After scoping out our route over the ridge to welcome we made dinner and crashed.


July 2nd

Woke up to a change in weather never really got rained on just a light mist at times. Anyways after a few cups of coffee and some breakfast we ran over the ridge to welcome lake. If it wasn’t for the sign, I would have felt like I was the first person to have visited it… very desolate it is. We relaxed at the lake for a while the fish were not as active here as turquoise. Still had a great time.

Back at camp we decided that due to weather and time constraints we wouldn’t spend the second night and instead hike back out. On our hike out we decided to stay on the trail and follow the French ridge the long way vs doing that bushwhack again. The trail was in great shape cruised it! stopped for a snack at the old fire lookout not too long after that we were back at the car. When I come back I will use this route both ways.


Cool area bummed I missed out on Cuitin but it gives me a reason to come back….. 10 stars!
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HitTheTrail
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PostThu Jul 04, 2019 9:18 am 
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Great beta on that area, thanks for the current update. We are thinking of setting up camp in the little basin at 5400' (just east of point 6410') along the French Ridge trail and exploring both lakes from there. Did you see any water in that basin?

Also, my hiking buddy Steve just did a recon up there and said about 6 miles from the Icicle TH the French Ridge trail gets pretty bad. Your assessment is slightly more positive (or are you just a better brush basher than us older guys?)
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hikestofish
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PostThu Jul 04, 2019 10:53 am 
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I don't recall seeing any water in that basin but i also wasn't looking for any. We did pass a nice camp just off the trail south of 6410 plenty of water there. The first 1.5 miles of french ridge from french creek was pretty nasty.
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HitTheTrail
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PostFri Jul 05, 2019 7:11 pm 
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hikestofish wrote:
The first 1.5 miles of french ridge from french creek was pretty nasty.

Yeah, just to clarify, I think he went up French Ridge from the Icicle not from French Creek. That would have put him almost to the old lookout site.
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Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
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PostSat Jul 06, 2019 6:44 am 
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How was the ridge jump to Welcome?

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

— Abraham Lincoln
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hikestofish
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PostSun Jul 07, 2019 1:19 am 
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it was fine, took us about 45 mins to get to welcome from our camp at turquoise.
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Mosquito Food
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This is how we do it
PostTue Jul 09, 2019 5:15 pm 
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Ahhh, those colors.  Thanks for sharing.

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Fueled by cornbread
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