Jul 17
Mt. Adams from Takhlakh Lake

Takhlakh Lake, 15-17JULY with Betsy and Gaylon

Betsy and I have been discussing an outdoor activity that we could do together, and we came up with a camping trip as an option we’d both be happy with. Campgrounds in Washington State are plum full! After searching for a while, I found a 2 consecutive night option at Takhlakh Lake, a lake I’ve never even heard of before. This lake is accessed by traveling 100 miles from home, including 7 miles of gravel road, and sits right at the base of Mt. Adams. It seemed like a godsend in a moment where every campsite within 100 miles of us was either filled, or at a place I’d have no desire of going to. I contacted my brother Gaylon, who is a world authority on car camping, and he agreed to meet us there. The drive was quite easy, and most of the journey from Puyallup to Randle was very familiar to me. Arriving at the lake, we realized that our reserved campsite was very small, probably explaining why it wasn’t filled. Still, I was able to get up the Kingdom 6 (without the garage) for Betsy and me, and also put up a 4 man tent for Gaylon. He arrived soon afterwards, and began giving us instruction in the fine art of camping.

Betsy relaxing with Gaylon’s tent in the background.
Betsy chillin’ with brother Gaylon
Photograph of the mountain in the evening, manifesting alpenglow.

That evening, we did not feel like cooking dinner since we were eating junk food all day. The next morning, I decided to take a hike up to the mountain. The trail followed partly a road, and then went straight up the mountain. The grade was not terribly steep and the trail conditions were quite good, with little mud and no obstacles to climb over. Eventually, the trail became steeper until I was able to achieve the timberline, and intersected the PCT. At this point, the PCT was completely under snow.

Glacier lilies lined the trail, and filled the large meadows at the timberline of Mt. Adams
There were plenty of shooting stars, as well as very early Indian Paintbrush, lupine, cinquefoil and other flowers unknown by name to me. The beargrass was also plentiful.
The NW face of Mount Adams from near the timberline. In the center is the Adams Glacier, second largest glacier in the state of Washington (next to the Carbon Glacier on Mt. Rainier). I’ve climbed Mt. Adams many years ago, the usual approach being from the south side. A lookout tower was built on the summit of Mt. Adams in 1916, which was manned for 8 years. Today, climbers are still greeted with the building on the mountain summit.
Now standing on the Pacific Crest Trail, completely under snow. I saw no footprints of recent adventurers who had attempted this portion of the trail.

https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/5252604777 shows my Garmin track for the hike. In all, it was 12 miles with 1600 feet of climbing.

That evening, Betsy and I cooked up spaghetti and meatballs, with a salad. The weather was perfect. Our entertainment that evening came from a host of chipmunks and birds in the area. The next morning, we woke up to rain. We had a quick breakfast, packed up our tents, and ran home. In all, we had an awesome time, with a great interest in doing at least one more car camping trip before the rainy season sets in again.

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One Response to “Takhlakh Lake”

  1. Bruder Dennis says:

    I’m gobsmacked.

    Thanks for the beautiful mountain alpine pictures!

    Gaylon looks like he is about ready for a return trip to our homestead and some tropical camping.

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