Apr 28, 2012
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Lost Lake
- Region: Puget Sound and Islands -- North Sound
- Agency: Larrabee State Park
- Avg Rating: 3.75
- Why You Should Go Now
- Wildflowers blooming
- Be Aware Of
- Water on trail
1. Deception Pass
2. Wallace Falls
3. Spencer Island
4. E. Fork Foss River
5. Lake Serene
6. Wallace Falls
7. Goat Lake (N. Cascades)
8. Boulder River
9. Third Beach to Toleak Point (Overnight)
10. Big Quilcene/Marmot Pass (Overnight)
11. Lake 22
12. N. Fork Skokomish (Overnight)
13. Welcome Pass/High Divide
14. Golden Lakes/Sunset Park (Overnight)
15. Glacier Basin
16. Sunrise Area Trails
17. Park Butte
18. Mt. Pilchuck
19. Barclay Lake
20. Cutthroat Pass
21. West Fork Foss River
22. Mount Constitution
23. Spencer Island
24. Pine and Cedar Lakes
25. Skyline Lake (Snowshoe)
26. Wallace Falls
27. Dungeness Spit
28. Oyster Dome
29. Lime Kiln
30. Lost Lake (Chuckanut)
30 Hikes, 257.5 Miles, 50,000' Elevation Gain.
I chose this hike for my 30th and final hike of my 30th year deliberately. Some years ago, shortly after completing grad school, I decided to take a drive. I had heard of Chuckanut Drive, and wanted to see it, drive it, photograph it, experience it. So, I set out northward and saw, drove, photographed, and experienced. It was a nice day and I was enjoying myself. I wound my way up to the north end of Chuckanut Drive, where I encountered a sign pointing out the North Chuckanut Trailhead. "I like hiking," I thought, so I pulled over.
I started up, wending my way through the labyrinth of crisscrossing trails, always choosing the option that looked like it went up the most. Everything seems so new to me. I had hiked as a Scout and a couple times in college, but I don't think I had really paid attention, really. I snapped pictures of every rock, stream and moss covered tree. Soon, I saw a sign pointing towards Lost Lake...sounded nice, so I went that way. Another major junction followed, and I again chose the route to Lost Lake. On and on and on the trail went.
Through moss-covered tree, under funky rock cliffs, and along deep-cut draws I hiked. The trail became muddier and muddier, and I had to pick my way carefully along. At one point, the mud pulled the shoe right off my foot. I was in sneakers and didn't have any food or water with me. And I was desperately out-of-shape. The implications of hiking the 4.6 miles and 1500' to the lake in that condition were unknown to me. I just knew I wanted to get there. My legs grew wearier, and I felt the mild tinge of hunger. On I pressed.
Finally, I was at the lake. Not extraordinarily beautiful, but quiet, peaceful, and somewhat mysterious. I was so tired that I did not explore the lakeshore, but instead dropped down on a log and rested for a few minutes. I took a few pictures, and thence collected myself and trudgedback to the car.
The expedition had exhausted me, and the last few miles were a drag. But somehow it was fun. And I didn't know it, but something inside me changed. A few weeks later, I decided to hike again, this time to my old favorite, Lena Lake. And then again: Hidden Lake Lookout. Old Sauk. Mt. Townsend. Almost every weekend that summer, I was off to discover a new and beautiful place.
Grace was given to me through these hikes. I felt peace while hiking, and a sense of accomplishment when I made it back to the car. The physical conditioning improved drastically, my lifestyle became active. I lost 50lbs and gained...well, a lot. It is difficult to understate how transformative hiking has been for me.
This year, hiking again acted as a means of grace. Early last year, I was bitten by a rather dog or rather poor disposition while riding my bicycle home from work. In and of itself, the bite wasn't too bad, but some complications arose and it wasn't until several months later that I was really moving around again. Last May I hit the trail again, at Deception Pass, and kicked off this 30 hike quest. It took time and energy to return to full health, and hiking played an integral role, serving as both motivation and means to recuperate.
So, given the role that hiking has had in my life, twice, it seemed right that I should return to this place where it all began to complete my 30 hikes goal. There is nothing spectacular about this hike. It is simple. The local scenery is the highlight, the thick moss, the steep valley, the gurgling streams, the strange and sometimes random geology. This time of year, some wildflowers are starting to peek out, including the odiferous skunk cabbage.
Compared to last time, this hike was really no sweat. I even included a side trip to Chuckanut Falls as part of the package, a worthwhile 1/2 mile diversion to be sure. Navigation was tricky as usual...the Chuckanut trail system makes quite the intricate web, and signage is iffy at best. Just like last time, though, I just kept going up!
The last time I hiked this, there were some staggering mudholes as you got close to the lake. This time, it was muddy in spots, but not too bad. There was also one spot where a stream had decided run down the trail for a bit. Not too bad.
I feel the need to write a short coda for this year of hikes. I made my goal in terms of number of hikes and elevation gain. I missed the mileage goal. I do not view this as a failure, though, and I'm not sad about it. I hiked more miles in this year than I have ever done before. I generally cover arounf 150 miles in a year, and had previously maxed out at about 180.
This year, I spent 34 days on the trail, and four nights in the wilderness. I stood 3 feet below sea level, and a mile and a half above it. I was blessed with the sight of swollen rivers, clear lakes, icy glaciers, flower-filled meadows, deep green forest, endless ocean and expansive mudflats. I trod on dry earth, rocks, sand, and snow and through mud and water. I hiked alone and with those closest to me.
Each hike was different, and I enjoyed each for its own beauty. But, I do have some favorites. Hiking the wild coastline to Toleak Point was a highlight, particularly when it was overcast and threatening rain. Welcome Pass, filled with endless flowers, was exceptional in its beauty. I will return there. Cutthroat Pass, with snow on the ground and larches sparkling gold...my adjectives fail me.
I've been asked if I'm planning to do 31 hikes this year. No. Maybe in a decade or two I will try something like this again, but for now, I've walked that path. Different adventures await this year. And those adventures will come. From where I'm writing this, I can see my favorite felt fedora, my hiking hat, hanging up, calling for me to pluck it from the rack and plunge again into the wilderness.
So that's it. For those who have been reading my trip reports and following this adventure this year, thank you sincerely.
See you on the trail.