I don't like hiking in the rain, but I was invited along on a hike to Ancient Lakes Saturday and not having anything better do to I decided to bend my rule. I figured the rain in central WA would hopefully be that warm tropical kind of rain that is actually pleasant to walk through...ahhh....yes, let me feel the rain. I brought my rain gear and wool stuff anyhow. We left Seattle early and climbing Snoqualmie Pass, saw just the hint of a ray of sun trying to break through the clouds. One could only hold their breath and hope. As we reached the other side of the pass, the clouds parted and it was pretty much blue skies the rest of way. Supposedly it's a 4 mile walk to the Ancient Lakes. I've been there twice now, and for some reason both times it felt more like 2 miles. What a lovely place, though. The
April-green grassy banks and canyon walls provide a serene, fairy tale like setting for the lakes (except for the transmissionn lines running along the tops of the cliffs). A waterfall pours into the farther lake. We took the trail to the top of the falls, and explored some of the smaller lakes above, then hiked clockwise on the upper trail segment to get an awesome panoramic view of the lakes below and the falls, and finally up to a saddle for a glimpse of Dusty Lake below. I found myself wishing the whole area were several times larger as it is so unique. There were alot of horesback riders enjoying the area as well. When we got back to the trailhead I was feeling the beginnings of a sunburn. We stopped for dinner at a place where the service was as slow as the process that formed the lakes. The ride back over the pass was full of nasty weather and driving rain--back to reality. Here are driving directions.
Note: talking with some other hikers we met, it sounds like falls may dry up later in the year, and April-early May time may be the best for viewing them.
I'd tend to agree, the trip in is much closer to 2 miles, not 4 - it goes pretty quick. Great little area though. Last time I was there I also walked above the falls and up onto the cliffs for that great, sweeping view. On the same trip I had a couple curious coyotes follow a couple hundred yards behind me for the last, grassy mile before the lakes.
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