Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Six Lakes and a Creek

reflection in Tuscohatchie
On the hottest weekend of the year (so far), we dove into the Alpine Lake Wilderness for some solitude and refreshing adventure. At least we had an adventure!

My small group of 5 Mountaineers started at the Talapus/Olallie TH after placing a car at Denny Creek. We hiked past a tranquil Talapus, ostentatious Olallie and dropped down to pristine Pratt. After filling water, we continued to temperate (in more ways than one) Tuscohatchie which would be our camp for the night. I had visited there 2 years ago on a swimming expedition and at that time, it seemed to be an unknown lake, somehow kept secret by a slightly rough and sometimes overgrown trail from Pratt. But as the day grew longer, hikers started appearing and by evening, every flat spot was occupied with a tent.

In the morning, we climbed up toward melodramatic Melakwa Lake and went on to Upper Melakwa which is via a fairly easy trail and it surprised me that I hadn't been there before. There were a significant number of people at Melakwa, but no campers since they have now made it a day-use only lake (being loved to death, no doubt). I ventured uphill to the toilet which was new and provided a peek-a-boo view of the valley and peaks.
Upper Melakwa Lake

Then it was time to descend over rock fields, baking in the hot sun and down to water. We knew we were close to Denny Creek because we could hear... not the sound of rushing water... the cries of delighted children. It was a quick re-entry into civilization to see everyone playing at the waterslide creek but soon we joined in the fun, too. The previous high water that had made the creek difficult to cross has been replaced by children who scattered themselves all over and on the stepping stones so that making the crossing was more an issue of not trampling children.
children, a guy in a chair, everybody was there


Ingunn said...

Are you sure Melakwa is day use only now? I haven't heard a peep about it and I'm sure there would be lots of uproar on the internets if it were to happen. I'm surprised Tuscohatchie was crowded...I'm torn between wanting as many people as possible to get off their butts and go outside and wanting to keep the wilderness to myself. :)

Whirled Traveler said...

We saw a sign that said, "day-use only", though there may be areas that are ok. We ran into the ranger several times that day so it is definitely patrolled.

I hope that the fact that there are more people on the trails will mean more funding and protection in the long run, but more crowded and less solitude for the present.