|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.