|Slide Alder Slayer
Joined: 14 Jan 2002
Posts: 1927 | TRs
|Pack Pup (AKA: my wife) and I decided to day hike to Stuart Lake before the trail is closed for the season on 7/15/02 for bridge reconstruction at the Eightmile/Lake Caroline Trailhead. Washington Online Weather predicted a freezing level down to 5,000 feet with intermittent snow/rain showers. At first I thought the forecast was mistaken, as we encountered a strong rain shadow over Easton and the Teanaway; even Leavenworth was partly sunny and warm. However, I have learned that W.O.W. is seldom wrong, and by the time we reached Stuart Lake in the afternoon the weather has turned to light snow flurries.
The trail to Stuart Lake is 100% improved over my last visit on 5/11/02. Conditions were so bad then that I did not bother to write a report, although others attested to the constant postholes and slow going. Now there is no snow on the trail until just past Lake Stuart's No Campfires Beyond This Point sign, and that snow should melt out in the near future. The lake is completely clear, and despite the weather, there were a lot of fish feeding just below the surface.
This was a great day hike! There is always something neat about snow in June. The animals seemed to enjoy themselves too, as we encountered a very inquisitive Douglas Squirrel, chipmunks, and two marmots, a duck, gray jays, and very fresh mountain goat tracks at the Lake.
Do to a late start we did not get back to the trailhead until just past 6:30 PM. There were 21 cars in the lot. Only one party was doing an overnight at Stuart Lake, the occupants of the other 20 cars was staying at Colchuck.