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Trip Report    

Ancient Lake

  • Mon, Apr 6, 2015
  • Ancient Lake
  • Backpacking

Our group of 9 experienced backpackers took advantage of this year’s short winter by making an easy early-season overnight to Ancient Lake.

Trails are not marked on any of the published topo maps. Because Ancient Lake is a very popular hiking destination year round, our plan was to follow the obvious main trail south from the trailhead then follow what we anticipated would be an obvious social trail west toward the lakes. We passed three trails that forked to the East (left) then took the fourth one, which took us along the small rises that marked the southern edge of the valley. Though this route gave us a bit more elevation gain/loss than anticipated all members of the group were up for it and later agreed that it made for an interesting and enjoyable hike in. We made camp in a sheltered grassy bowl on the northern edge of the southernmost of the five lakes. The provided excellent shelter from the wind, but most of group was woken up during the night by loud mechanical noises coming from somewhere in the surrounding agricultural area - it sounded like helicopters but lasted all night. On Saturday afternoon we went on day hikes to the major lakes, then followed a social tral up the southern ridge to an overlook of Dusty Lake. On Sunday morning after a leisurely breakfast we made an easy bushwhack north to the trail in the center of the valley and hiked west back to the main entry trail then north back to the trailhead.

Trail info for future visitors: There are four major trails that branch East to Ancient Lake from the main trail. The first two are the most popular, with the one being the largest and corresponding to the jeep track marked on the USGS topo. The third is a small faint trail that leads down the center of the valley. The fourth trail hugs the southern edge of the valley and is the hilliest and perhaps least travelled of the four.