The hike: Trapper Creek Wilderness Loop, 14.5 mi
This hike is from last weekend. We set out to “summit” Observation Peak, but found the
Trail: Santiam Lake
Dates: 6/23 to 6/24 (out & back, one night trip)
This was a really nice/approachable/easy one night backpacking trip. We drove down from Portland, leaving the city around 8A and arriving at the trailhead at 10:30A. We hiked in and set up camp by 2:30/3P. The start of the hike is through an old burn (see bear grass photo below) and with elevation, it transitions to open forest and sub-alpine meadows. The snow pack is almost completely melted out. There were only a handful of snow patches ‘obstructing’ the path, as we reached Santiam Lake. The lake is most likely a shallow one, as the water was warm by Oregonian standards (those of us use swimming in what feels like recent snow melt or the Pacific Ocean). I loved swimming in this lake. The only downside was the hordes of mosquitoes that follow you once you get out of the lake/set up camp/try to sit in camp and enjoy the view of Three Fingered Jack. So bring a swim suit, towel, and a bug net (seriously, or a bee keeper suit). Also, open to recommendations on how other hikers, dog owners, herbalists, anyone deals with the ever increasing presence of mosquitos on their camp trips.
The hike is dog friendly and we saw a lot of happy dogs hiking and enjoying the swimming, too. Once Tepals is ready for an overnight trip, this will be one of the first we get her acclimated on.
Featured photo credit: Reed Lehto
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