West Fork Foss River #1064, Copper Lake, Little Heart Lake
Aug 13, 2006
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: West Fork Foss River and Lakes
- Region: Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass - West
- Agency: Skykomish Ranger District
- Trails: West Fork Foss River (#1064)
- Avg Rating: 3.62
Started the day off by chasing a deer up the road on the way to the trailhead. Seemed she liked the idea of staying on the road rather than fighting the brush. We made good time on the trail to Trout Lake, and even though we've hiked this trail before, we've always enjoyed the really big trees and nurse logs found alongside the trail.
After taking a short break at Trout Lake, the trail began to climb. Once again some big trees are encountered. One several years ago fell across the trail but not on it. Leaving enough room for people to walk underneath it. Through the trees and underbrush, Copper Creek Falls can be seen and although portions of it can be photographed, one is denied a portrait of the entire falls. Several, avalanche paths are encountered along this portion, and we couldn't help but notice that the Vine Maples are already showing a hint of red.
After about 3 1/4 miles, the trail leading off to Malachite Lake is reached. This trail can be hard to find at first and is just a boot beaten path, climbing over roots and rocks to a beautiful cirque. We had gone up there last year and had spent a great day, fly-fishing with good results, and picking blue huckleberries with evwen better results. This year however, Copper Lake was our destination.
Copper Lake is just a half mile further, and is a very large lake, a deep green color and surrounded by rugged peaks. We ate lunch near the outlet, then The Trailmaster, Me Lady and myself tried fishing for a while. Me with my, I know your getting tired of this, but my brand new, got it for Father's Day fly-rod. Me Lady and The Trailmaster using their spinning rods.
After an hour of absolutly no strikes, there are fish in the lake. I brought up the idea of heading on up to Little Heart Lake, just a mile further up the trail. Princess and the Little Lady said nay, but, Me Lady, The Trailmaster and myself were all for it. Majority rules, so on up to Little Heart we went. Walking along the lake we took careful note of where campsites and good looking fishing spots were for future refrence. After the trail leaves the lake shore, it gently climbs through meadows of heather, light timber and granite slabs to Little Heart Lake, smaller than Copper Lake, but ringed by heather and huckleberrie meadows on one side and a talus slope and rugged peaks on the other sides.
Almost right away I noticed some ripe blue huckleberries, and with visions of vanilla ice cream with huckleberries on top. We quickly emptied a water bottle of it's contents and the plunk, plunk of berries could soon be heard. Everyone jumped in took pick as many as they could, everbody that is except for me. You see, while in the process of getting my water out, I found my collapsible spinning rod which I had stuffed into my pack, and was soon found standing on a log casting out into the green depths of the lake. Within five minutes, I had a 10 inch, fiesty cutthroat trout on that put on one of the best fights I've ever had. With great pleasure I landed him and held it up for Me Lady to see. We both fished for about 15 minutes more, but after losing a lure, and another very fiesty cutt, we decided it was time to head back down. by this time it was 3:00 PM, and we wanted to be home before 8:00 PM
So we packed up and by 3:15 were on the trail headed down to Copper Lake. I had mentioned to the others we needed to get a move on to get out by dark. During a stop to adjust my pack, the Little Lady turned around and said. ""Dad if you want to get out; you better get a move on!"" Me Lady and I fear we've created a trio of hiking monsters. With only one stop for a water break, we made it down to the trailhead within three hours. The Trailmaster was a bit faster though, making it down in 2 1/2 hours. All in all, one of the better hikes this year. We'll be back.
No real problems on the trail, all blowdowns are cleared up and bugs are nothing to worry about. No bug juice used for the entire day.