Ancient Lake


Backpack - Ancient Lake

Mellow backpacking trip to steep canyon walls, desert flowers in spring bloom, the Columbia river, basalt flows, and a rare waterfall in the desert. See one of the best examples of a recessional-cataract canyon anywhere in the world. The campsites are just one mile from the trailheads. On Sunday, after we leave Ancient Lakes, we will also hike to the Douglas Creek Falls. This is a mentored backpacking trip for Andy Cahn; Chris Finley will be his mentor.

  • Easy
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 5.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 200 ft
  • Pace: relaxed

Tibbetts Valley Skateboard Park, Issaquah, 10:00 am. 

This will be a very mellow trip. On Monday, we will break up the drive with a stop in Cle Elum to get supplies (amazing jerky at Owens Meat and  scrumptious pastries at the Cle Elum Bakery) and to eat lunch, arriving at Ancient Lakes around 2:00.  After a one mile easy hike, we will pitch our tents by Ancient Lake. Then, in the late afternoon, we will hike down to the shore of the Columbia River. Returning to our campsite, we will cook dinner and then spend the evening playing Telestrations. 

On Tuesday, we will have an early breakfast. The goal is to break camp at 8:00 am.  This will allow us time to drive 45 minutes north to the Douglas Creek Canyon and explore the canyon (with about 4 miles of hiking).  After seeing the Douglas Creek Falls, we will stop in Quincy on the way home for lunch in one of Quincy's Mexican restaurants.

NOTE: None of the water in the lakes is drinkable. You MUST carry all of the water you will need for dinner and breakfast and for the walk to and from the campsite. Everyone must carry at least four liters of water, and bring additional water to store in the car as a backup supply.

Note: you are responsible for providing your own food for dinner and breakfast, and snack foods, and your own cooking equipment (stove, fuel, pots and pans, plates and utensils). 

When requesting permission, please send the following information to Andy Cahn (at 1) what backpacking experience have you had? List one trip you have taken within the past five years in which you carried your gear at least one mile. 2) You can not drink any of the water found on site; you will need to carry all of your water to the campsite. Are you prepared to carry at least four liters of water for a mile along with all of your gear? 


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
  • Bear canister, or rodent-resistant food storage bag, 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