Ancient Lake


Backpack - Ancient Lake

Backpack in on Saturday (out on Sunday morning) 5 miles round trip with 200 feet elevation gain through Potholes Coulee to Ancient Lakes, where we set up camp prior to an optional 4 mile round trip day hike to an overlook of another lake, with a lunch stop and one hour tour on the way home on Sunday at Wild Horse Wind and Solar Energy facility near Ellensburg.

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  • Sat, May 14, 2016 — Sun, May 15, 2016
  • Tacoma Hiking & Backpacking Committee
  • Backpacking
  • Singles, Families, Retired Rovers, Adults, 20-30 Somethings
  • Easy
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 5.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 200 ft

Meet 8 AM Saturday at the Preston Park and Ride Lot to consolidate cars.

This is an opportunity to combine two eastern Washington adventures in one weekend backpack trip.  Early Saturday morning we will drive from Preston to the trailhead in Potholes Coulee near Quincy, WA.  Late morning we do an easy 2.5 mile backpack in to Ancient Lake, where we set up camp and have lunch.  Saturday afternoon, we do an optional 4 mile round trip hike with 400 feet elevation gain to an overlook of another lake and return to camp for a camp dinner.  After dinner time can be used for a stroll around Ancient Lake.  After breakfast Sunday morning, we pack up and backpack out to the trailhead.  Then we drive to the Wild Horse Wind and Solar Energy Facility near Ellensburg where we have a scheduled 1 PM lecture about the facility while we eat our sack lunch in their lunch room.  At 2 PM we have a one hour scheduled tour of the facility.  If we arrive before 1 PM, we can do a short hike on trails on the facility grounds.  At 3 PM we drive home and should be back to the Preston Park and Ride lot before 6 PM.

IMPORTANT:  The water  where we camp is not suitable for drinking, EVEN WHEN FILTERED, because it all comes  from agricultural irrigation runoff, that contains dangerous  chemicals.  So YOU MUST CARRY IN ALL THE WATER YOU WILL CONSUME FROM WHEN WE START BACKPACKING IN ON SATURDAY UNTIL WE HAVE BACKPACKED OUT ON SUNDAY.  This includes water used in cooking, because boiling will not remove the hazardous chemicals.  It can be hot and dry in our hiking area, so plan on drinking more water than you do on other hikes.  The good news is we only need to carry in the full load of water the easy 2.5 miles we are backpacking in.

A Discover Pass must be displayed by all cars parked at the trailhead.




Ancient Lake

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports