Basic Backpacking Field Trip - Ancient Lake

Field trip: Basic Backpacking

Basic Backpacking Field Trip - Ancient Lake

Easy trip in the central Washington desert just east of the Columbia River, but with a couple quirks.

Info
COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 5.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 200 ft
  • Pace: 1.5 - 2.0 mph

10:00am at the Ancient & Dusty Lake Trailhead near Quincy, WA.

This trip has been cancelled due to low  enrollment.

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In terms of mileage and elevation gain Ancient Lake is one of the easiest backpacking destinations in the area, but it comes with a couple quirks (see below).  Located in the central Washington desert, the landscape is very different from the forests and mountain peaks of western Washington and the Cascades. To get a feel for the place check out the WTA description and this image search.

The hike to the campsite is short and we should arrive by lunchtime.  The area has some interesting day hike destinations, so after we have set up camp and had lunch we may do some easy day hiking to explore the area.  Specifics will be decided by the group.  On Sunday we’ll linger a bit to enjoy the morning before setting out to hike back to the cars. This will be a warm weather trip to an area without many trees, so plan to bring cool clothes, good sun protection including sunglasses and a hat with a full brim, and a lighter sleeping bag if you have one.

Before signing up, be advised that the area has two quirks:

  1. The local water supply is not safe to drink even with filtering, therefore everyone must carry in enough water for the whole trip.  Expect to bring about 2 gallons, but that can vary depending on your size and normal water intake.  Fortunately the trail to the campsite is short with almost no elevation gain, so carrying the extra weight shouldn’t be be too bad.  But still, be forewarned than our packs will be heavier than usual for a one night trip.
  2. There are no trees from which to hang food, so bear canisters or Ursacks are required.  (We do not expect bears, but we do expect smaller critters.) 

Due to COVID restrictions there will be no organized gear sharing.  However, individuals may choose to share gear (bear canisters for example) on their own initiative if they choose.

About Basic Backpacking Field Trips

The Basic Backpacking Field Trip, or "student backpack", is the final scheduled activity of the Basic Backpacking Course.  For most students it will be their first overnight trip in the backcountry.  Student backpacks are usually single-night trips along Easy or Moderate routes that do not present any unusual technical challenges.   

Route/Place

Ancient Lake


Roster
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Your usual overnight kit plus:

  1. A bear canister or Ursack.
  2. Enough water for the entire trip.

This will be a warm weather trip to an area without many trees, so plan to bring cool clothes, good sun protection including sunglasses and a hat with a full brim, and a lighter sleeping bag if you have one.

Due to COVID restrictions there will be no organized gear sharing.  However, individuals may choose to share gear (bear canisters for example) on their own initiative if they choose.

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