Adventurers only: High Lake


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High Lake

It’s always fun to return to a hike done many years ago, especially if it no longer follows a well-maintained trail.

The original trail began near the end of a Forest Service road. But, close to twenty years ago the road was closed and is currently so overgrown it is unrecognizable as having ever been passable.

The current trail to 5,100-foot Fish Creek Mountain begins at an unmarked trailhead from a rough dirt road southeast of Estacada, Oregon.

Now one gets the challenge of hiking a hard-to-follow access trail built by volunteers. The trail is very steep in places.

Another change from 20 years ago is the old fire lookout site on the mountain’s summit is overgrown with noble firs and mountain hemlocks standing well over my head. Still, there continues to be views extending to Mt. Jefferson.

An extra treat of the outing was a 500-foot descent below the summit on another rough trail to a very pretty cirque lake (High Lake) formed by a receding glacier long ago.

Clodius Parnassian Butterfly

Cirque Lake

Young Blue Grouse

California Tortoiseshell Butterflies

Overgrown site of long-removed fire lookout

Patiently waiting its turn

Cascade Lily

Hydapse Fritillary

Large volcanic dike

Edith Checkerspot on a Buckwheat blossom

Penstemon

Pale Tiger Swallowtail

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Oregon Cascades HikesTags: , ,

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