Ancient Lake


Backpack - Ancient Lake

Join the Tacoma Singles Activities Committee on an easy, beginner-friendly backpack trip in the warm desert of Eastern WA. Surrounded by deep coulees lined by stunning basalt cliffs, we'll see wildflowers, two waterfalls, and multiple lakes! After hiking in and setting up camp, we'll hike to a ridge overlooking a large lake on Saturday afternoon, then hike out Sunday morning. Singles of all backgrounds are encouraged to participate, but any and all are welcome!

  • Easy
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 8.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 600 ft
  • Pace: 1.5-2.0

Meet at 8 AM Saturday at the Preston Park and Ride lot, reached by taking Exit 22 from I-90, heading north and turning left at the T junction and then left again into the park and ride lot. 

If we need to, we can consolidate cars at the park and ride lot.  We will caravan there to the Traveler's Rest off of Exit 53 from I-90 for a restroom break.  Then we continue east on I-90 to Exit 149, George, where we stop at the truck stop on the south side of I-90 and the west side of SR 281 for another restroom break and gas fillup, if needed.  Then we'll head north on SR 281 and follow directions to be supplied later to the Ancient Lakes trailhead.  A Discover Pass must be displayed by each car parked at the trailhead parking lot.  There's a portable toilet at the trailhead, but not elsewhere on our hiking route.

The most important thing to remember about this hike is there is no drinkable water (EVEN AFTER FILTERING) at the trailhead or anywhere on our hiking route.  All water in the area is agricultural runoff contaminated by chemicals used by farmers.  So all water consumed on the trip must be carried in, including what is used in cooking dinner and breakfast.  It can be hot in this area at this time of the year, so everyone should carry in AT LEAST two liters of water or energy drink for drinking, plus what you need for cooking.  It is advised to have at least one more liter in the car that you can consume after the hike.  The greatest danger on this trip is dehydration.  For that reason, we will break camp and hike out right after we cook breakfast on Sunday morning.  On the drive home we'll have an optional lunch stop wherever the group chooses.  Last year Dick Hayek (co-leader) and his group stopped at the Brick in Roslyn.   

For more info on the Ancient Lakes area: 




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 Ursack (there are not many trees in the area for hanging food)
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports