4.24.2014

Cooper Lake Snowshoe




HIKING ACROSS COOPER LAKE LOOKING NW




Today the weatherman called for rain, yet again! Its the weekend and a whole day laid in front of me. I decided to do my best to get away from the wet skies and go snowshoeing in the sun. So where should i go? Eastern Washington of course.

I've heard many a people say "IT ALWAYS RAINS IN WASHINGTON"! I simply reply, "You mean in Western Washington."

The Pete Lake trail in the Alpine lakes Wilderness was on my hiking list. But sadIy I slept in and got driving to the area late. Going through Cle Elum I drove up to Salmon La Sac and found myself the only hiker among Snowmobilelists. My plan was to snowshoe to the Salmon La Sac campground then connect with trail 1311, then to trail 1323 which would lead me
 to Pete lake.

Once i parked i decided to take the groomed forest road 46 hoping to safe time by snowshoeing faster. It was probably faster but once i met up with trail 1323,(Pete lake trail) i found no tracks or signs of the trail just the trail sign. With lack of time, because of my sleepy head, i called off Pete lake and explored around Cooper lake.

At first i tried my fishing luck in the cooper river at the outlet then the inlet to the lake with no avail. With the lake frozen over and the sun reflecting off the snow I'd beaten the rain. So i hiked on top of the lake exploring its nooks and crannies. The lake is creek fed but I soon learned its also spring fed. I came across several shallow thawed areas where i could visually see the water bubbling up from the bottom of the lake.

At the inlet of the lake i spotted two river otters. Both went about their business of sunbathing and cruising the inlet until i got too close for comfort.

Overall not a bad day of exploring with the goal of getting some vitamin A totally accomplished.



FROM THE INLET OF COOPER LAKE LOOKING SE

MY NEW ATLAS SNOWSHOES

PETE LAKE TRAIL SIGN COVERED IN SNOW

A SPRING BUBBLING UP FROM NEAR THE SHORELINE


TWO RIVER OTTERS ENJOYING THE SUN

HITCHED A RIDE FOR THE LAST 3 MILES BACK TO THE TRAILHEAD


 Total miles: 10.2 miles

National Forest: Okanogon Wenatchee National                                Forest

Total Ascent: 3,280 feet

Highest Point: 2874 feet

Map: Kachess Lake #208

Trail Conditions: I found Pete lake trail but lost it                              within 500 feet, too much snow. Forest                            road was well groomed
Nearby Trails: Mountain Trail 1330, Howson Creek                       Trail 1349, Jolly Mountain trail 1307,                               Paris Creek trail 1393.1 , Davis Peak trail                      1324, Waptus River trail 1310, Cooper                              River trail 1311, Pete Lake trail 1323
                     
Parking: Plenty of parking along Salmon La Sac                            road
Camping: Cooper Lake has a campground

Trailhead amenities: a map, no toilet

Wildlife Seen: two river otters

Fishing: Cooper River and Lake holds fish but i got                         skunked

Rules and Regs: Fires permitted at Cooper lake,                                 Cooper river selective gear rules with                               fishing permitted between the Saturday                          before memorial day to October 31st

Directions: From 1-90 take exit 80 Salmon La                                   Sac/Roslyn. Take left on Bullfrog road if                        driving east on 1-90 or take right on                                  Bullfrog road is driving west on 1-90. Next                    drive 4.3 miles going around two round                          abouts. After the second round about                                Bullfrog road turns into Highway 903.                            Once in Roslyn take a right on W Nevada                        Ave. Then after .3 miles take a right on                            highway 903. Next drive 13.7 miles to                              forest road 46 which is a bridge going                              across the Cooper river. I started                                        snowshoeing at the bridge but in summer                      the forest roads go right up to Cooper lake.

3.22.2014

Trout Lake: Alpine Lakes Wilderness

FOSS CREEK

Another day, another lake, and another gorgeous hike. Trout lake sits at low elevation in the North central part of the expansion Alpine Lakes Wilderness. 
Being a short 3.2 mile round trip hike its perfect for a quick half day trip or an all day summer lounge on the lake hike. 
With fishing pole in hand we took to the trail. The trail starts of rather easy following the west fork of the Foss River. The river is close by almost the whole time. A bridge crosses over the river where below the bridge the river was flowing downstream but above the bridge there was no flow. Further up the trail the river is heard roaring again. It reminded me of how much more H20 there is to a mountain river that we don't usually see, via the underground path. 
Next a GIGANTIC Fir stands alongside the trail about half way up. Its been awhile since I've seen anything larger. 
Snow covered the last half mile of trail which is where most of the elevation in gained.
The lake was mostly frozen over but I threw my line into the outlet of the lake which was shallow, too shallow. I wanted to keep the few lures i had.Therefore we strategically decided on plan #2, ice fishing! 
After cutting through the ice we realized it was thick enough to support us. I dropped my line in about 20 feet away from shore and fished from the 1 1/2 ft diameter hole i was able to chisel out. NO luck!! No worries because the scenery was beautiful with a fresh covering of snow the forest glisten above us. The clouds broke and the sun popped its head out a couple of times to show off the snow capped mountains to the south of us.
All in all another great hike, another great lake and an amazing friend to share it with!!





HUGE DOUGLAS FIR TREE




ICE FISHING AT TROUT LAKE

LANDSLIDE SHOWY THE CRAGGY MOUNTAINS ABOVE

PANORAMIC VIEW OF LAKE
                                                              TRAIL INFO:
  
Trail: #1064

Miles hiked: 1.6 to the lake/ 3.2 miles round trip

Elevation gained: trailhead 1600 ft/ lake 2100           ft/ total of 5 feet gained

Forest: Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National                   forest/ Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Permit Required: NW forest pass

Trailhead Amenities: Parking lot, bathrooms,               picnic table

Map: Green Trails Maps 175

Wildlife seen: None

Fishing: None caught, supposedly has trout

Camping: numerous sites 

Trails close by: the same trail hikes another 5.7                  miles pass Lake Malachite, Copper                lake, Little Heart lake, and Big Heart lake

Trail condition: Great! Snow is trail, 3 downed              trees

Rules and Regs: No fires at Trout lake

Directions: Take Hwy 2. From hwy 2 take Foss            River rd (FR 6800) just east of the town of          Skykomish. After 3.5 miles take a slight              right and stay on 6800. After another .6              miles keep going past trailhead 1062. Then          after 1.3 miles take a left on FR 6835 and            the trailhead will be 1.9 miles ahead.