Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 6042 | TRs
Location: Off the Deep End
|This is more a recon trip than a TR, although I did get out and hike quite a bit each day. None on trails. The snow is down to deep patches around Fish Lake and I was able to reach camping, but sacrificed the muffler on my car!..... I didn't get stuck, so that's a first. Wildflowers are just starting to pop up.
FS 62 to Trinity is open to Goose Cr. CG with several patches of snow/ice to the road closed sign just past the turn off to the campground. 2200 ft. el. I was surprised how much the snow has melted over the past 2 weeks. I drove up the Meadow Creek road not expecting to get far and cool it has been plowed!.....The plowed road turned off heading up Pole Ridge and I was able to easily drive on mostly dry road to the top of the ridge at 4,000 ft. The plowing stops here, but continues down the road that heads west. I drove down that road for a mile or so, but it gets to look like a narrow snow tunnel, so I was getting worried about being able to turn around. This is a good backdoor road to Dirty Face, so would make an excellent early season climb saving you 2,000 ft. Snow is about 4-6 ft. deep in the shaded protected areas to bare ground on the south slope. I didn't see any logging going on, so the plowed roads might be for tree planting after the Dirty Face fire?
More camping shut down in the Fish Lake area with a number of No Overnight Camping signs tacked up at random locations. I wonder if a FS employee is on a mission to shut it down permanently. There's going to be a thinning contract done soon all through out the N side of the lake. Many trees down from the winter storms, but thankfully cut out before I arrived.
Lake Wenatchee State Park is open for camping. I drove in there and didn't see any closed signs like I saw several months ago. Everything is a mess from the thinning done this winter and they are burning and clearing up the debris. The wind was ripping on the lake like it usually does with large waves washing ashore making it look more like the ocean than a mountain lake.
I met a fascinating older guy on Fish Lake that was trying out his newly built cedar canoe. What a gorgeous boat he built! I wish I had taken some pictures of it. Fishing was so so with too much wind and down to the mid 20's at night, so all the downed timber made for some great campfires.
Snow levels are running right at 2,000 ft. to solid deeper snow above 2,400 ft. Many open areas in the sunny southern exposed slopes. US 2 is closed at Coles Corner and you have to detour via 207 and Plain. I believe that is to open for the weekend. Driving back over Stevens Pass the snow starts just past Rayrock. The Merritt Lake TH is open and drivable as it the Rock Mtn TH. They've dug out Smithbrook road entrance, so 4-5 cars can park there now, but the snow is still 5-6ft deep. US 2 is hammered and be careful of all the potholes and torn up road. I saw 4-5 wheel covers off the road from the crunches. Snow is melting rapidly dropping down from the pass to patches at Scenic. The new Iron Goat TH is snow free, but still gated. There was fresh snow above 4,000 ft, so winter isn't quite gone yet. Here's a few pics.
FIsh Lk, Dirty Face
Fish Lake, Round Mtn
You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye......Eagles
|Get Out and Go
Joined: 13 Nov 2004
Posts: 1716 | TRs
|Thanks GeoHiker - just the kind of info we all appreciate. If I recall, you made the same sort of fact-finding trip last year and provided us with current conditions around Lake Wenatchee. I've been busy and haven't made it up that way so far this spring......That will be changing soon. I'll probably do Dirty Face from the bottom in the next couple weeks - more as a conditioning hike for bigger things to come. BTW, too bad it was windy on Fish Lake the day you were there. I hear the Rainbows have been partial to worms lately.|