Heather Lake

This was the second hike of the day. Due to Internet access offline all day at my house for an upgrade, I took the day off to go hiking. Gary and John joined me. We started the day with a hike up to and around Lake 22. It was much less crowded on a Friday than a weekend. We debated an easier hike on the Old Robe Trail or another short but steep on very rocky and rooty trail to Heather Lake. We chose Heather Lake. The drive was very short and we were at the trailhead and ready to go at 1:40 pm That was only 15 minute after finishing our first hike. The Heather lot was mostly full. It was a warm though not hot afternoon. The second hike would be almost entirely in shady forest up to the lake. The first thing we noticed were the huge stumps. There were some monster trees here at one time. We saw bleeding hearts, foam flowers, and spring beauty. The trail was rockier than I recalled. Usually, when I have done this hike I blast up the trail while fresh in the morning. This day we were at the heat of the day after doing one hike already. we were just a little bit slower.

In places the trail was a creek. In other places the sheer length of trail across a field of roots was amazing. And there were a lot of very big steps. After coming down the Lake 22 trail we did not need more big steps to jump down onto sore knees. Still, there are big trees higher up and a nice forest overall. After moderate grade on an old road section the grade grows much steeper. This is not a long trail but it seemed that way today. Closer to the lake, we saw blooming trillium and some big patches of blooming skunk cabbage. We reached the junction of the around the lake trail at 2:52 pm.  We turned right and headed to the lakes shore. It was time for a break and we found a good spot. I was torn between heading back or doing a loop around the lake. After our break Gary headed for the loop trip. The trail is pretty flat. We went through forest with some empty campsites. Then we broke out of the forest.

The steep wall of Mt. Pilchuck loomed above us. The trail winds through some big boulders. I recalled a trip I did here on a 90 degree day in Seattle. It was much cooler at the lake and the forest made for a cooler hike up and down. We passed a smaller lake/pond feeding into Heather Lake. After that we went back into the forest and found more empty campsites. We finished the loop and headed down the trail. After Lake 22 the big steps down onto rocks or mud were not a lot of fun. At least the descent went faster than the climb up. We passed more groups heading up as we descended. I was glad to see the parking lot come into view. The lot was now only about half full. The day had warmed up to about 70 degrees.

This was an unusual day. First, my work was shut down by the lack of Internet so I went hiking on a Friday. I have not often done two different hikes in the same day. These both had some rough and rocky trail. The downhill pounding made the trip seem longer and harder than the statistics showed. For the day we hiked just over 11 miles with 2800' of elevation gain. My trips usually have a climb in the morning and descent in the afternoon. This day we had two climbs and two descents. We saw and hiked around two lakes. We saw some big old growth trees on both trails. Both hikes are very crowded on weekends but we missed much of that crowding by hiking during the week. It was a fun way to spend a day on the trails.

Start Of Hike 2
Start Of Running Water
John & Huge Stump
Guys On The Trail
Spring Beauty
Gary Leads The Way
Slabby Rock
Really Really Rooty
Break At Big Tree
Missing A Few Boards
Up The Creek/Trail
Blasted Rock
The Beat Goes On
Skunk Cabbage
Lake Is In Sight
Lake From Break Spot
Yellow Violets
Wall Behind Lake
Looking To Outlet
On The Boardwalk
Rocks In The Lake
Looking Back & Up
Small Flowers
Marsh Marigold
Lots Of Skunk Cabbage
Big Rock Step
More Rock
Wet Slab Trail
John At Creek/Trail
Still Having Fun
Nice Trail
A Little Wet
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Trips - 2024