Spent Sunday night at Tahklahk Lake, hoping for some night-time and/or pre-dawn shots of Mt. Adams. A lack of skill, and a lack of clear sky thwarted me. I had a great hike on Monday, however, exploring Tak Tak Meadows, and then the trail to Council Bluff.
Tahklahk Lake is melted out, and there were a number of campers up there already - tents, truck-campers, a trailer. One fellow and friends were set up for night time shots of Mt. Adams, but his camera was far burlier than mine. I camped near the top of the loop, hammock strung between two firs, with a good view of the lake, but none of the mountain. Waking early, at 4:15, I jumped up and strolled to the lake, the pre-dawn hour was gorgeous, even if I wasn't able to get a good shot of the mountain, again.
Later, after breakfast and a campfire (to heat water, my fuel canister ran dry), I did the trail around the lake, and explored the Tak Tak Meadow trail. Tak Tak is amazing! It's all about a giant lava flow, and little meadows alongside and above it. Gorgeous landscape, some good views.
Later, I drove out to Council Lake, and hiked up to Council Peak. Wow. Simply wow. What a view! The trail to the peak is easy, mostly old, eroded jeep grade, and never too steep. I found there is a trail leading east(ish) from Council Lake, which could serve as a beginning for the route to Tahklahk Lake. Will have to check that out soon. The summit marker at Babyshoe Pass is appropriately, if humourously, decorated. Perhaps a bit macabre. Where did the baby shoes come from? I might contribute mine. They're bronzed.
Gorgeous weekend, amazing views, even a few wildflowers, including paintbrush, Lyall's anemone, lupine, trillium, larkspur, phlox, heather, aster, and I'm sure a few that are escaping my memory. Snow has melted to roughly the elevation of Tahklak, still quite a bit on the forest floor above that level, tho favorably exposed locations are long melted out, even above that. The trail to Council Bluff was snow free above the Boundary Trail junction, but Tak Tak still had quite a bit of snow, and I'm not sure that road was passable to Orr Creek yet.
Today, I am off to Kiona Peak and the Greenwood Lake trail.