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Trails at a Glance

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4 thoughts on “Trails at a Glance

  1. Randy

    I wish I had learned of your site earlier. Love the pictures and the excellent writing in synch with the pictures. My perusal of the site has already had two large impacts. First, it has stoked my already great desire to hike in the Mount Baker area. Second, your coments have chilled my desire to hike the Anthony Lakes area.

    A couple suggestions. On the Foredyce trail, take a left at the road rather than a right for a much more scenic hike. The old road turns into a trail which leads to an old road. Turn left, The old road descends into a saddle where you will find the sign for and the terminus of the 17 mile long Asotin Creek. The road turns into a path on the other side of the saddle which, while travelling along the rim of Asotin Creek canyon, gives extensive views of the Lewiston-Clark Valley, Moscow, Mountain, the Asotin Creek Canyon and the Blues to the rear. The trail finally comes to the lip of a gulch where there is an old fire road. Take this back to the road which is 1.2 miles below the Foredyce trail. The gulch has the best display of Mount Mazama ash I’ve seen. Elk are common. I saw a very large herd in April in the gulch.

    Other local places I suggest, if you have not already been there, would be Heart lake in the Mallard Larkins, Last year I backpacked all the branches of Eagle in the southern Wallowas which really impressed me. Kelly Creek and Hanson Meadows in the spring. That was one of many hikes I have had the good fortune to do with Mary Aegerter. We saw a moose, four bears, elk, and a wolf. But be sure you can cross Bear Creek if you do the hike in the Spring. One more. If you enjoyed the lower Weitas, I believe you will enjoy the upper Weitas from 12 mile on the 500 road. The upper part has beautiful meadows. I saw 5 bears within 24 hours there.

    I try to get out every weekend hiking. We are very fortunate to live in an area with such great hiking opportunities and yet so few people. Hope to run into you sometime. And please keep the blog going.

    1. Lusha Post author

      Randy,

      Thank you so much for the kind words and all the wonderful recommendations. It didn’t take me long to figure out that you and I like the same types of destinations! We actually have every one of your recommendations on our “bucket list” and intend to do several this year. We’re planning Kelly within the next few weeks. I’d like to hike it earlier in the season, but Jason is wanting to do it a little later season when the fly fishing is better. We’ll be sure to make it in to Hanson after reading your comments. We also plan to make our first trip into the Larkins this August for a four day pack.

      Ironically, I’ve been trying to decide between one of the Eagle trails or a loop pack to Swamp and Steamboat Lakes for our summer Eagle Cap trip. I would appreciate any words of advice/recommendations you could provide on the Eagle branches, specifically Bear and Eagle Lake up Main Eagle or Echo, Traverse, and Tombstone Lakes up West Eagle. We love the east side Eagle Cap, but we’ve been curious about the west side trails and wondering if “this year is the year” to give one a try. Thanks in advance for any tips.

      You nailed it- we are so fortunate to live in an area with such great opportunities. We love the variety we can get within a relatively small radius. I do hope we see you on the trail someday. Please be sure to say hi if you recognize us! Thanks again for your very kind words on the blog. I have way more blogs left to write than are posted and feedback like yours keeps me motivated.

      Happy trails,
      Lusha

      1. Randy

        Hope you do publish some more! I am enjoying your reports on North Idaho trips as I have only done a few day hikes in the area except for a wonderful backpack down Long Canyon.

        Thank you for your gracious reply. I avoided the southern Wallowas for years. How could they be prettier than the north Wallowas? And what’s the business about Mountain Lakes and dams. I wish I had listened to Mary earlier.

        I find it difficult to recommend one place over another as each drainage of eagle creek has its own unique charm. The West Eagle is probably the most popular. I was lucky enough to be there on a weekday and had Traverse lake all to myself. But you can’t stop there. Wonker Pass beyond Traverse Lake is amazing. I did not make it up to tombstone lake, but Mary tells me that it makes up in solitude for its lack of beauty when compared to Traverse Lake.

        Perhaps because it was my first exposure, I have my warmest memories of the main eagle. I camped four and a half miles in at the trail junction to bear lake in a beautiful meadow along side the stream. It was really nice to hike up to culver lake, Bear Lake, and looking glass lake without a full pack. The views are spectacular. I have forgotten the geological term, but above Looking Glass Lake there is the best display I have ever seen of a thick band of brilliant red rock separating a continuous rock cliff indicating a major earthquake. I also hiked up to eagle lake. Actually, the truth is that initially I missed the cut off to eagle lake and instead ascended over 2000 feet to reach a ridge with gorgeous views of the minam river canyon. Look for a post and turn right to go to eagle lake.

        On East Eagle, I camped at a beautiful spot just a little bit up the hidden Lake Trail. I hiked to hidden Lake and Fraser pass as day hikes. I only met six people and they were all headed up to hidden Lake so you may not wish to camp there.

        The southern Wallowas are particularly well-suited for setting up a base camp and then exploring the beautiful granite tarns that lie above the narrow valley filled with verdant meadows. I have plans late summer to backpack with a friend from the south Wallowas to the north The distance is not very far, but we will take our time in exploring the side trails as well.

        With respect to the Swamp Lake area, I must admit, it is a gap in my experience with the north Wallowas that I have been wanting to bridge. I have hiked to the ridge just above swamp lake and looked down upon swamp lake and steamboat Lake. It did not impress me as being as rugged as other areas of the Wallowas that I have visited. And I spent a night at chimney lake at the other end. But I have not hiked through Minam meadows. The person who I backpack with the most hiked the loop last fall and loved it. She heard and saw tons of elk and never saw a person on the trail.

        As you know, you can’t possibly go wrong whereever you go in the Wallowas.

        Thanks again for your outstanding pictures and writing. Happy hiking to you!

        1. Lusha Post author

          Randy,

          Thank you so much for all of the additional information. I will take each recommendation to heart as we make our final trip plans for August. I wish we could do them all this year! I hear you about the mountain lakes and dams. We’ve found the same thing with many of the lakes above Hamilton, MT. My initial reaction is, “why would I want to go there”? But you are correct that they can be so beautiful. And as you say, you can’t possibly go wrong in the Wallowas. They’ve never once disappointed us. We were in Joseph this weekend with family and I found myself staring at the snow covered peaks and dreaming of our next adventure.

          I don’t think I mentioned in my last reply, how fortunate that you were able to hike with Mary. I had the pleasure of having her as a professor her very first year in the area (at least, if I remember right she had moved here from out of the area to teach at LCSC). I wish I had been a hiker then and could have had an adventure or two with her. But I have satisfied myself with reading her recommendations on her website, her book, and the Tribune when she was writing for them. She was one of the inspirations for doing our blog. A wonderful woman indeed.

          Thank you for the continued encouragement on our blog. It is summer now and new posts will be slow to appear, but I have many previous trips I want to blog about and all of this year’s upcoming adventures! And thank you for returning to the site to see/reply to my comment. I just recently learned that you don’t receive an email notification when I post a reply. I have Jason working on a plug-in to fix that. Until then, I appreciate your return to the blog 🙂

          Happy trails,
          Lusha

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