The weather and our schedules both reached alignment on August 5, and though I've got lots of "bigger" hikes on my list of things to do, I wanted to go explore something interesting and off the beaten track. We picked Running Rain Lake.
The lake isn't that "secret"; its reasonably popular with fisher-people, and also with hunters in the fall. But it's a little isolated, being 15 km or so south of the Highwood Pass on Highway 40.
Starting the trail has always required a bit of effort, and it got worse with the 2013 flood, sort of. You park on the side of the highway, and immediately drop 15 vertical meters down to 10 m wide Storm Creek, which you have to cross. In olden days, it was a ford, but now there is a log bridge of sorts.
|Karen on the crossing|
|This used to be a river channel for something but turn around and...|
|...the channel got filled with flood debris.|
The route through the forest to the lake is pleasant but not always dry. There are springs everywhere and dozens of mudholes that you have to pick your way around. At least one ate Karen's boot on the way in, and I slipped into one on the way out. Yeuch.
Two-thirds of the way to the lake, there's another crossing of the (now) much smaller creek. You could rock hop it on the old trail, or use another log bridge made from flood debris. Unlike the big one crossing Storm Creek, this one has... a handrail!
|Nice of someone to build that|
|Karen on the crossing|
The trail's a little indistinct at the mudflow; once you get to the flow, turn uphill, cross the tiny creek in the flow, and go another 75 m, finally heading back into the forest near more mud.
Just past here, you end up in a marshy, wet meadow. Every footstep squelches water on you, but if you stand still, you won't sink.
|The meadow starts|
|Your first view|
|The massive Elk Range behind|
|Looking back down the valley|
|The lake edge|
|A Wood Frog|
|Crystal clear water|
|Looking basically northwest|
|I think he heard a noise|
|Monitoring his domain|
|And being fat|
|Intent on something|
|We didn't take that route, though|
|Looking down from ~10% the way up|
|A zig zag, with ups and downs, too|
|Looking south into the next valley. Mt Odlum on the right|
|The unstable 50° slope at the top of a washout|
|Mt. Lipsett and Mist Mtn. Trail start just visible|
|Looking north from the top of that mudflow we crossed|
|Looking down at the mudflow|
|The trail (I know where it is, since I was on it...)|
|We had to climb that. It has cliff bands.|
|Nameless Ridge. See this link.|
|Mist Ridge in the foreground, the Highwood Range behind|
|A partical view of Odlum Ridge|
|More of the Highwood Range|
|I think that's a rock glacier on the flanks of Mt. Odlum|
|A better view would have been nice|
|Our gully from the top|
|The lake is visible|
|Mirror like, but some fish were rising|
|Looking back down the valley.|
|We were blocked by the bump in the middle|
|Zoomed in a bit from a little closer|
|The cliff bands that stumped us|
|We were at the top of the mudflow, and blocked by the peak on the left|
|Out and return|
|Eating cow parsnip, I suspect|