Jul 14
Echo Lake

Echo Lake, Norse Peak Wilderness, 13JUL2020

I’ve been contemplating harder day hikes, and shorter 1-2 nighters to get me up to speed for a lengthier segment of the PCT this year. My decision is to try to get in the majority of Washington if possible. It has been a very weird year for doing the PCT. I have come to the conclusion that the greatest enemy to PCT hikers has been the PCTA organization, for NOT supporting hikers on the trail. This year would have been perfect for doing the high Sierra, except that trail support was entirely lacking. I also considered completing the most northern segment of the California segment of the PCT from Castilla to Ashland, Oregon, but, being locked up at home in fear that the Wuhan virus or something even worse might afflict me kept me from getting in enough training hikes to make a go for it. In addition, the snow was more than normal this last year, restricting choices on hiking trails. It was a very rainy late spring, turning most of the trails into lengthy mud puddles and diminishing any enthusiasm for being outside on the trails.

I’ve accomplished a lot of day hikes that I haven’t documented, including hikes to Annette Lake, Melakwa Lake, and a number of other places. Yesterday, I completed a hike to Echo Lake, which is immediately off a historical mountain pass (Naches Trail), used heavily in years past but now forgotten. A major fire went through the area in 2017, but fortunately left the hiking trail to Echo Lake alone. Some day, I’d like to do a 3 day loop which goes past Echo Lake, to Corral Pass, Noble Knob, and the to Lost Lake before returning back to the trailhead. I’m told that a moderate portion of that loop goes through burnt forest. In approaching Echo Lake, I saw only patches of forest fire, though the entire hillside on the opposite side of Echo Lake was clearly burnt.

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/5233398313

I started the hike just before 10 am. I had never driven this road before, thinking that it was gravel. Instead, the access road was paved to the Echo Lake trailhead and then beyond for about a mile. The hike started as a fairly flat trail with a few ups and downs as it follows the Greenwater River. At about two miles, one arrives at Greenwater Lakes, the lower being a small pond, and the upper an area where the river broadens out into nearly a lake. There were a few campsites in this vicinity for less eager hikers.

Lower Greenwater Lake
Upper Greenwater “Lake”

The trail had bridges across the river 7 times as the trail zigzagged along the river, all of them but one were very nicely built bridges…

One of seven bridges
Several unstable logs, with a rope strung along to assist in getting across this stream

Along the trail, the grade became steeper. I passed the turn-off to Lost Lake. There was a Lost Creek Backpacking camp which had only one tent in it, and soon after, I encountered two young boys who were camped there. Those were the only two people I saw on the way in. Finally, 8 miles in, I arrived at Echo Lake. It was large and quite beautiful, save for the forest fire remnants on the other side of the lake. The bugs were few, and the campgrounds were quite nice. I was really tempted to jump in the lake for a swim.

Echo Lake. The distant hills were scarred with fire.
One of a number of nice campsites at the lake.

The trail out was greeted by many more people than I was coming in, most being close to the trailhead. Apparently, this is a very popular trail, and I can see why. Hopefully, I can return again and perhaps loaf a day or two at Echo Lake. Or, I could complete the loop that I mentioned above. Perhaps, I could do both!

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One Response to “Echo Lake”

  1. Bruder Dennis says:

    More beautiful pictures, with no sign of Antifa, BLM, or other hooligans anywhere in the vicinity.

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