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Nancyann
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PostFri Apr 26, 2019 3:09 am 
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A couple of my friends wanted to get up to Lake Isabel, so I decided to do a preliminary check to see where the snow line was. I had no intention of going all the way up to the lake, especially since I was recovering from some sort of food poisoning. May Creek kept luring me on, however, and the trail was well flagged through this year’s storm debris, so eventually I found myself at the base of the falls. Surprisingly, I encountered no snow up to this point!

Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
Lake Isabel Trail 4/25/19
May Creek Falls, Lake Isabel 4/25/19
May Creek Falls, Lake Isabel 4/25/19

The sights and sounds of beautiful May Creek and the amazing old growth giant fir and cedar trees provided comfort for whatever had been ailing me, so I rested for a bit and continued on with the scramble all the way up to the lake. I was surprised to find Lake Isabel completely thawed out!

Lake Outlet, Lake Isabel 4/25/19
Lake Outlet, Lake Isabel 4/25/19
Lake Outlet, Lake Isabel 4/25/19
Lake Outlet, Lake Isabel 4/25/19
Lake Isabel 4/25/19
Lake Isabel 4/25/19
Lake Isabel 4/25/19
Lake Isabel 4/25/19

I rested for a bit, enjoying the lake’s solitude, and then headed back for the long slog downhill, stopping for a few pictures of the falls on the way.

May Creek Falls, Lake Isabel 4/25/9
May Creek Falls, Lake Isabel 4/25/9
May Creek Falls, Lake Isabel 4/25/19
May Creek Falls, Lake Isabel 4/25/19
May Creek Falls, Lake Isabel 4/25/19
May Creek Falls, Lake Isabel 4/25/19
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Sky Hiker
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PostFri Apr 26, 2019 4:50 am 
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Heard more logging is scheduled for the area.
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Nancyann
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PostFri Apr 26, 2019 7:19 am 
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Sorry to hear that, I wonder if they are going to obliterate more of the trail?
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RichP
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PostFri Apr 26, 2019 7:48 am 
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I'd better get up there before it starts to look like my typical slash land hiking in north Idaho.
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fourteen410
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PostFri Apr 26, 2019 9:29 am 
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If you go back, make sure to take the kayak for a paddle around the lake smile.gif
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brewermd
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PostFri Apr 26, 2019 10:20 am 
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Are the canoes gone?
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Bramble_Scramble
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PostFri Apr 26, 2019 11:05 am 
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brewermd wrote:
Are the canoes gone?

We were up there on Wednesday. There are now three watercraft. A new green canoe has shown up since I was last there, as well as the old green canoe and the red kayak. Oh and on the way to the second outlet there is about and 8x8ft raft made of four large logs cables together.

There was a surprising lack of trash at the lake and trail compared to the last few times I've been there. The trail through the clearcut is easy to follow, I think it follows pretty much the same route as before.

Friend tried fishing for two hours from shore and by boat and didn't even get a nibble.
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gotakeahike
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PostFri Apr 26, 2019 11:25 am 
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My husband & I attempted to reach Isabel in the late 1970s. There wasn't much of a trail and we got a late start so we never reached it, ending up camping in the rain and heading down the next morning. It's been bugging my ever since so a couple of friends and I finally visited the area on April 16th. The the trail is well flagged and we had a great day in the rain. We were all soaked  despite full rain gear. There were some old tin cans, aluminum foil, bits of broken glass, and an old grill grate,  etc. that we hauled out from the fire pit by the lake. I think my husband and I need to visit it together, find the canoes/kayaks and paddle around sometime.
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Kim Brown
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PostFri Apr 26, 2019 12:12 pm 
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Did you find the old wood stairs on the originally built switchbacks near the falls?

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" I'm really happy about this! … I have very strong good and horrible memories up there."  – oldgranola, NWH’s outdoors advocate.
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Bramble_Scramble
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PostFri Apr 26, 2019 12:20 pm 
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Kim Brown wrote:
Did you find the old wood stairs on the originally built switchbacks near the falls?

We found one section of puncheon just before the lake outlet and a few small spots lower. The first time I went to the lake the trail went up more climbers right and went by the old mine. The main route now just goes straight up by the falls. I tried to locate the trail by the mine but couldn't. I remember that trail popping out by the easternmost campsites but could not locate it.
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Nancyann
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PostFri Apr 26, 2019 8:58 pm 
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Thanks to everyone who shared their interesting commentary!
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ale_capone
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PostTue Jan 28, 2020 10:04 am 
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Tried to go up to isabel back in early December. Repeat of a door to door that is only possible during low water on the skykomish. Basically, start at highbridge, and hike the bank of the river to big foot beach. Hike bigfoot trail to main river trail that goes to hatchery. Cut off random foot path that crosses reiter to the pits. Up road to trail.

Where the trail to the lake previously cut off the road just after the fork has been logged. I went the old way, but I think staying on the road would be better. At the top of the cut I could not locate the trail. No GPS or waypoints, just memory. If you know where the trail is from there, it only adds a little more road walking.

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Nancyann
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PostTue Jan 28, 2020 10:45 am 
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Hmm, I’ll have to go check it out, ale_capone. Haven’t been up there since my TR.
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Slim
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PostWed Jan 29, 2020 8:56 pm 
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The last time I was up there I got a ride  clown.gif


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"Our flapjacks sell like hotcakes"
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Nancyann
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PostWed Jan 29, 2020 9:14 pm 
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Now that looks like by far the best way to see Isabel!
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