Monday, August 23, 2010

Granite Lakes and 12 Miles of Hiking

(This blog is a bit longer this week, be warned!) :)

I was set on going hiking this weekend. It had been a few weeks, and I was itching to get out and explore the great outdoors.

Originally, I told Jon that I wanted to do Annette Lake, until he figured out we need to buy a parking pass. This was feasible, but I decided to take a gander at my hiking book to see what else there was. I landed on Granite Lakes. 11 miles round-trip, but only 2300 foot elevation gain, so it couldn't be that bad, right?

Fast forward to Jon, Stacy and Ellie hiking up the mountain and panting. "This seems a lot steeper..." we thought to ourselves. Oh well...

On the way up
We finally made it to a peak, at which point it went slightly downhill, then flattened out for a ways until we reached our destination. We wanted to consult the book to figure out how to get to the lake, and at that point, I realized that the book mentions a "saddle" at 4300 feet, which means the elevation gain was actually about 3500 feet! It was just the starting point to finish point that was a 2300 foot gain. How deceiving!

Not knowing where to go (the "end" seemed like a dead-end or a nice place to camp, but no lakes and no view), we followed a piece of cloth that was tied to a tree branch on the left. It appeared to be a trail, but it was severely overgrown, so we were getting whacked in the face and scratched up legs from all the branches as we pushed our way through this trail.

From afar, we finally saw a lake! So we pushed on, until we reached a clearing and some big rocks that we could sit on.
It was such a beautiful lake! Well it was small, so more like a large pond. But the water was clear and still, and surrounded on all sides by mountain. It was like we were in a giant bowl.

And I forgot to mention that the hike was quiet and desolate. We saw only 4 people total, going up and down, and there was no one at the top while we were there.

Jon and I were trying to take some good pictures of Ellie, but she was particularly distracted and not interested in looking at the camera, so Jon started to make whistle sounds to try to get her attention. He let out one loud one... and we heard it back about 3 seconds later. Both of our eyes lit up as we realized that we were in a giant amphitheater.

The next 10-15 minutes were spent making loud strange sounds to hear the echo. It was the most fantastic echo I'd ever heard because it went on forever! Jon and I both agreed it should have been called Echo Lake instead of Granite Lakes.

While we were marveling in the natural beauty, we swore that we had to come back to this special place. However, on the hike back down as we walked, and walked, and walked, we realized just how far of a walk it was and decided we were not too sure about hiking 12 miles at once again.... I think we've found our distance limit!

1 comment:

  1. Those are such great pictures of Ellie! Looks like a very pretty hike but I think 12 miles is too much for me. :)