Forum Index

Trail Talk

Partners

Trip Reports
 

Stewardship
/History 

Gear
/Food/Photo

Support
/Links 

Saloon
/Trade 
Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Twin Lakes Times 2, (Winchester LO)  Mt. Baker, 7/22-23/2010
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
GeoHiker
Rocky Walker



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 6043 | TRs | Pics
Location: Off the Deep End
Post Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:51 pm    Twin Lakes Times 2, (Winchester LO)  Mt. Baker, 7/22-23/2010
 Reply to topic Reply with quote

I camped out for the week near Mt. Baker ski area and wanted to check out the Twin Lks area that I'd heard so much about.  The death horror road leading to the lakes was a concern as was the clouds and occasional spits of rain.   

FS website reported the road was closed at 5 miles.   As usual they were wrong, so I headed on up.  I figured I'd go as far as possible and then walk the road to the lakes.  Past TR's I read warned of imminent death and destruction if you drove this road, so I was pleasantly surprised to see it in good shape.  The last 2 miles switchbacks up and up, so sharp in several spots you have to back up to make the turn.   eek.gif   Other than a 500 ft. drop off on a single lane track and no room to pull over, it's an excellent road!..... hockeygrin.gif 

You can drive to within about 200 ft. of the lower lake where the snow gets deep in a hurry.  I hiked over to the upper lake and checked out the camping area and fishing prospects.  Sections of both lakes are opening up and it won't be long till they are both ice free.  Wow, this looks like it could be an awesome GTG camping spot at a future date.  up.gif 



Clouds and spits of rain made this area rather bleak with some peek a boo views.   After the sunny day I had the day before I vowed to return when the sun returned.  I was surprised to see the skies totally clear the next morning.  YES!  Once again up the road and WOW, what a difference a day makes!  I was in a alpine heaven with awesome views in every direction and you can drive here.   There's still hope for us old people.  up.gif  up.gif



What to do, what to do.  I had fishing gear, so wet a line?  There were many trout swimming the shoreline where there was open water.  Forget fishing, there were peaks to bag.  I could see the flag flying at the lookout, so someone was up there.  I'm partial to lookouts, so that was the direction I went.  Trail starts off snow free, but you pick up snow drifts in the shaded sections several hundred ft. above the lakes.  Views go from great to awesome the higher you go.



I ran into a couple older guys.  Geez, I'm old so they must have been really old!.... hockeygrin.gif  They said people were climbing down from the LO, but were having trouble in the upper snow field.  I once again failed to bring my ice axe, so after watching the 3 guys down climb a very steep dangerous section up above I bagged any thought of reaching the top.  I made it to about the 6,000 ft. level and turned around.   

I dropped back down to the lake and decided to check out the mines and road to the N.  There are house size chunks of snow and ice that came down in a slide, so the road and lake is busted up halfway down.  That must have been quite the scene when that came down.   eek.gif  I followed the road about 2-3 miles.  It drops off into the valley below, so not knowing where the mines were I gave up.  On the way back up I checked out another area and found a corner post for a mining claim.  Are there actual mines here or is this a surface mine?   Still 6-10 ft. of snow, so it was hard telling where what was.

I would guess about 7-8 miles and 2,000 ft.    Awesome cool area to hike and explore, so I'll definitely have to come back in 2-3 weeks when the snow is melted off.  up.gif  up.gif  up.gif 



--------------
You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye......Eagles
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
Yeti
Truly Abominable



Joined: 07 May 2010
Posts: 232 | TRs | Pics
Location: Issaquah
Post Tue Jul 27, 2010 3:45 pm   
 Reply to topic Reply with quote

Geohiker, thanks for the Twin Lakes report.  I love that area and spent a lot of time there when I was a kid.

The road tends to go through a cycle of disrepair and repair depending upon whether or not the mines in the area are being actively worked.  I believe that the Lone Jack Mine is currently active.  There used to be an old adit on the east side of the upper Twin Lake and a little side trail off of the main road leading to the adit.  I haven't been there in years so I am not sure if it is still around.

For an added challenge you can take the road past the lakes to where it meets up with the Silesia Creek trailhead.  You can make the descent into the valley and into what has been referred to as the "Big Salad."  The Silesia Creek trail used to go all the way to Canada and was an old access point to what I believe was the Boundary Red Mountain mine.  I don't think it has been maintained in many years.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message
GeoHiker
Rocky Walker



Joined: 26 Feb 2005
Posts: 6043 | TRs | Pics
Location: Off the Deep End
Post Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:48 pm   
 Reply to topic Reply with quote

Tnx for the info. on the mines.  I think the snow is too deep and every thing is covered up.  I walked a new road down valley about 2 miles NE.  It got really steep, so I bagged it.  This might be an easier way to reach the valley floor, so worth checking out when the snow melts. 

After my Hannegan Pass hike I could see how anything in the area could be called the "big salad"  That valley looked like a cool place to check out, but wading through that junk isn't high on my list.  I did see a trail on the map, but if it doesn't get maintenance I could see it could be history in a hurry.  I did fine some HUGE bear poop father down.  Looks like prime Griz country.   up.gif

--------------
You call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye......Eagles
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
Highwalker's Daughter
Member
Member


Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Posts: 1546 | TRs | Pics
Location: Snohomish, WA
Post Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:34 pm   
 Reply to topic Reply with quote

It is a great place to camp if you can stand those drop offs on the hairpin turns on the road.  I used to take my kids there, but the mosquitos can be wicked!!!
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail
  
Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours 
 Post new topic Reply to topic
Forum Index -> Trip Reports -> Twin Lakes Times 2, (Winchester LO)  Mt. Baker, 7/22-23/2010  
  Happy Birthday Snowdog, Man-inna-hillz!
 
Jump to:   
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
Search this topic: 


   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group
Privacy Policy