Forum Index > Trip Reports > Church Lake & Bearpaw Mountain: 07/13/19
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
fourteen410
Member
Member


Joined: 23 May 2008
Posts: 1879 | TRs

fourteen410
  Top

Member
PostSat Jul 13, 2019 9:29 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I've been wanting to check this place out for awhile, but a damaged FS 31 prevented me from visiting for years. It is now repaired.

FS 31 is a smooth ride, but FS 3160 will give your suspension a run for its money. Lots of ditches in the road - you'll want high clearance.

The trail to Church Lake starts at the end of 3160. It's not long, but it is steep. After cresting a ridge, Church Lake comes into view, and it's a pretty one. Bearpaw Mountain looms above the lake, but clouds blocked most of the peak today.

P1250784-Pano
P1250784-Pano

After a leisurely break at the lakeshore, we followed a bootpath upward toward the high meadow. On a sunny day you can see Baker, Shuksan, et al, but today views were limited. From the meadow, the bootpath ascended a steep shoulder before disappearing just beneath pt. 6066. Clouds chased me up to the ridge and within minutes everything was socked in. Ten minutes of patience rewarded me with peekaboo views of Bearpaw Mt., so I decided to go for it.


I followed a bootpath up to a small gap at 6000'. The summit was so close, but would have required some exposed scrambling to reach. Visibility was low and I didn't have any (2 legged) companions with me for this trip, so I decided to call it a day here.


Headed back down to the lake for lunch, where a pair of bald eagles were pulling some flight stunts. It was a real treat to watch. Then it was back up and over the ridge and down to the car. Would love to come back on a clear day.

Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Roly Poly
Member
Member


Joined: 02 Jan 2013
Posts: 493 | TRs

Roly Poly
  Top

Member
PostSun Jul 14, 2019 5:24 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
How many miles is the 3160 part of the drive?  Is it easier to walk this section?  Looks like our clouds just won’t yield to summer!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
backpacker92out
Member
Member


Joined: 28 May 2016
Posts: 62 | TRs
Location: Washington
backpacker92out
  Top

Member
PostSun Jul 14, 2019 9:50 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
This way looks so much more scenic than the boring forest slog on the south side. Thanks for the report!

--------------
----
My Hiking Youtube Channel
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
fourteen410
Member
Member


Joined: 23 May 2008
Posts: 1879 | TRs

fourteen410
  Top

Member
PostSun Jul 14, 2019 3:46 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Roly Poly wrote:
How many miles is the 3160 part of the drive?  Is it easier to walk this section? 

About 4 miles. If you have high clearance, it's easier to drive than walk.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
D. Inscho
Not bored yet...



Joined: 28 Feb 2010
Posts: 895 | TRs
Location: Bellingham,WA
D. Inscho
  Top

Not bored yet...
PostSun Jul 14, 2019 8:00 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Thanks for the visuals and road reports 14410.  Your companion looks ready for anything.

--------------
http://david-inscho.smugmug.com/

The key to a successful trip is to do the planning during work hours.       --  John Muir
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
kitya
Member
Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 364 | TRs

kitya
  Top

Member
PostMon Aug 12, 2019 1:06 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
I drove the road 3160 to the trailhead last Saturday in my new Rav4 Hybrid, but I regretted it. It is super narrow and very brushy and very rocky. Even with 8.1 inches of clearance, there were many places where it felt like i was scratching the bottom of the car over rocks and it was a slow and very-very bumpy drive. If you meet any oncoming traffic on this road, this will surely be a big problem and rocks are super sharp too - i would think not only high clearance, but offroad tires would be useful too.

Every other car at the trailhead looked like this:

What is worse, 4 miles is a long road for driving this way, but trail to the lake is super short (less than 0.5 miles), so you are not getting a lot of fun for a lot of non-fun. And most people coming to this trailhead don't look really like typical hikers. The lake was mobbed with many groups camping and fishing. There were several campfires going and people took dirt bikes to the trail up to the lake, completely destroying fragile alpine meadows in several places. There was a lot of mud due to this type of use and several parallel ugly trenches. Maybe it gets better after the lake, but I had no time or desire to explore it more after what I have seen. Poor pikas!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
crazyhiker
Member
Member


Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 242 | TRs

crazyhiker
  Top

Member
PostTue Aug 13, 2019 6:49 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
^Welp, just crossed this one off my list.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
slabbyd
Member
Member


Joined: 21 Jun 2005
Posts: 147 | TRs

slabbyd
  Top

Member
PostTue Aug 13, 2019 7:19 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
what a bummer.  Almost makes you wish that Canyon Creek Road had never been repaired.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
fourteen410
Member
Member


Joined: 23 May 2008
Posts: 1879 | TRs

fourteen410
  Top

Member
PostTue Aug 13, 2019 12:01 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Meh. It's always had it's fair share of interesting folks on sunny summer weekends. It's all about being smart with timing, seasons, and weather.

But yeah, definitely don't go up here, it's really ugly. And definitely don't go beyond the lake, really ugly up there too.  wink.gif
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
kitya
Member
Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Posts: 364 | TRs

kitya
  Top

Member
PostTue Aug 13, 2019 1:14 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
fourteen410 wrote:
Meh. It's always had it's fair share of interesting folks on sunny summer weekends. It's all about being smart with timing, seasons, and weather.

But yeah, definitely don't go up here, it's really ugly. And definitely don't go beyond the lake, really ugly up there too.  wink.gif

Sure. But I went there on a very rainy day, so just weather might not be enough in summer. And yes, maybe I was just unlucky and people will leave, but tracks from dirt bikes on the meadows and scars from fire rings and campsites along the lake - will not.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > Church Lake & Bearpaw Mountain: 07/13/19
  Happy Birthday detekt!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy