Manastash Lake — Monday, Jun. 8, 2009
A great morning hike! We left Ellensburg just before 8AM and were on the trail around 8:45. The first mile or so climbs steadily but gently through new-growth forest until entering older forest. About 1.5 miles in, the trail reaches Lost Lake, elevation ~4840 feet. The trail then levels out for a while and continues climbing until briefly descending to Manastash Lake, elevation 5063 feet. Between Lost Lake and Manastash there were several snow patches and blowdowns, but nothing that the average hiker can't handle. The snow is worse as you make your way around Manastash Lake, however. Total distance to the south end of Manastash Lake is 3.9 miles. At the south end of the lake there is a two-person bench structure built on the shoreline, complete with fishing rod holder. Very cool! Besides the snow patches and blowdowns, the trail is in great shape. I would recommend gaiters if you want to get to the south side of the lake, however. There is still quite a bit of snow on the west side of the lake. This is a multi-use trail, so be aware that you may encounter dirtbikes.