A Climb to the Summit of an Extinct Volcanic Cinder and Lava Cone


Like U.S. Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, some of my favorite outings have been on the Tumac Plateau. In my case, going back 40 years.

The Plateau covers a large forested area dotted by meadows and small to good-sized lakes. It’s also home to large herds of elk.

While vacationing in Central Washington, I spent a day exploring the William O. Douglas Wilderness from Deep Creek Campground.

After a 1 1/2-mile ascent up the headwall of Deep Creek, I stopped and admired the deep blue beauty of Little Twin Sisters Lake. Three miles in the distance was 6,340-foot Tumac Mountain, my next destination.

Upon reaching the summit I had a bird’s eye view of the Tumac Plateau stretching for miles in each direction. To the east were the Rattlesnake Mountains, led by Mt. Aix reaching another 1,400 feet into the sky. To the west were the dominant glacier-covered peaks of Mt. Rainier and the Goat Rocks, mostly covered in clouds.

After a short rest I took a pleasant seven-mile loop, partially on the Pacific Crest Trail, to Big Twin Sisters Lake. The large, deep lake brought back many memories of backpacking, catching stringers of brook trout for dinner, elk hunting and explorations.

By this time the clouds had moved in and brought some rain showers as I reluctantly returned to the trailhead.

Final ascent to the summit of Tumac Mountain

Final ascent to the summit of Tumac Mountain

Chipmunk

Chipmunk

Blankenship Lakes

Blankenship Lakes

Tumac Mountain behind Little Twin Sisters Lake

Tumac Mountain behind Little Twin Sisters Lake

Huckleberry bushes turning autumn colors

Huckleberry bushes turning autumn colors

Your Humble Scribe on the summit of Tumac Mountain

Your Humble Scribe on the summit of Tumac Mountain

Mule Deer Fawn

Mule Deer Fawn

Everything in the photo is in the William O. Douglas Wilderness, a true gem

Everything in the photo is in the William O. Douglas Wilderness, a true gem

Goat Rocks in the distance

Goat Rocks in the distance

A rainy day (Huckleberry leaves)

A rainy day (Huckleberry leaves)

Big Twin Sisters Lake

Big Twin Sisters Lake

A pleasant stretch of the trail

A pleasant stretch of the trail

 

 

 

 

Categories: Personal Reflections, Washington Cascades HikesTags: , , ,

3 comments

  1. what a great landscape once again… I really should travel through the western US once again!!

    Like

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