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Badger Creek Wilderness
At the Fifteenmile Forest Camp on the northern edge of the 44-square mile Badger Creek Wilderness, I was greeted with sunshine and warm temperatures.
The Trail steeply followed Fret Creek into an upper basin, reaching Oval Lake in two miles. This is a very pretty, small lake sitting underneath the cliffs forming the headwall between the Fifteenmile Creek Basin to the north and the Badger Creek Basin to the south.
Soon I met the Divide Trail and began heading west. At 6,000 feet I was clearly in an alpine environment with meadows, wildflowers and short alpine trees (mainly hemlock, but also whitebark pine, alpine fir and a few alpine spruce.)
Another pleasant mile and I was on top of 6,525-foot Lookout Mountain, the highest peak remaining of the old Cascade mountains, all much older than Mt. Hood.
Breaking out a snack, I was soon joined by a large number of beautiful butterflies. A short way into my hike back to the trailhead, I photographed a white butterfly. Thanks to Caitlin’s ID, the butterfly was a checkered white, the first recorded one in Hood River County.
A very nice day indeed.