Trip Report    

Basic Backpacking Student Trip - Melakwa Lake

A fun loop backpack trip exploring some of the Alpine Lakes.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • It had been a long time since I was at the Denny Creek TH, and did not know about the one way road.  This initially made it difficult, esp on a Saturday, to track down all of our crew, but it worked out due to having cell service.   We set up a car shuttle so that we started at the Pratt Lake TH and ended at the Denny Creek TH.  

We pivoted at the close to last minute, as the road access for our trip from Obstruction Point to Grand Valley was still snowed in.  We landed at this change due to less driving time and a comparable distance and elevation to our originally planned trip.  

After gathering us all together, we began up the Granite/ Pratt trail, finding it less crowded after the turnoff to Granite.  At the turnoff for Pratt, we ended our ascent and began our descent down to the lake.  Luckily, we arrived early enough that we were able to locate a campsite to fit our group comfortably.  Being a Saturday, many others came through our site, and I had recommendations of where to send them to locate more sites, having poked around a bit.  We hung around in camp, played on the lakeshore, enjoyed dinner and conversation, before the bugs sent us to our tents.

In the morning, some mist was over the lake, after a very light sprinkle overnight.  We packed up our stuff, and began the hike, first to Lower Tuscohatchie, then uphill to Mekakwa Lake.  By the time we arrived at Melakwa, it seemed that many of the day users were heading out, as it was breezy, cool, and cloudy.   We found a campsite that again was good size enough for our group on the NE shore of the lower lake.  We walked up to the upper lake to gather water.  It resembled an infinity pool when looking upstream from the stream between the lakes.  While we thought we were the only campers there on a Sunday, before dinner we spied a smoke from the south shore of the lake.  As campfires are not allowed at these popular lakes, we yelled across, and luckily they put out the fire.  We had an early dinner as the cool breezes kept coming.  In fact, the mist was building, it was colder than expected, and I for one made a hot water bottle to take to my tent.  Awesome!

It rained steadily but lightly all night long.  Two people woke to pooled water under their tents.  We all learned about packing up wet tents and staying warm in camp in the morning.  We moreover learned to not always trust the weather forecast, at least just west of the Crest!  We packed up and worked our way back around the lake before hitting the trail, climbing to Hemlock Pass, before descending down, down, down.  The rain stopped just as we started moving, and the temps got warmer the lower we got.  Of course, once back in town, family reported it had been lovely all weekend.  We had a lovely time, if wet and cool, and a very enjoyable group of this year's Backpack Course students!