Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Backpacking Ancient Lakes

 4 packs, each weighing between 25-34 lbs each 
 Ready for their first backpacking trip!
Waterfalls everywhere!
 The hike was pretty flat
Lots of people on the trail
 Another waterfall!
 We scrambled up the left side of the falls
Wasn't a bad view from the tent
 Sarina & Ryan, my new adventuring friends:)
 Made it to the east side of Ancient Lakes
 Almost back to our camp spot
 Do you spot the tents?
Beautiful weather all weekend
 Sarina & Ryan's tent at sunset
Started out with 34 lbs which included 5 liters of water

Date hiked: April 16-17, 2016
Trail & Location: Ancient Lakes Loop in Quincy, WA
Mileage: estimated 10 miles total
Elevation gain: give or take 600 ft 
Difficulty: easy

This past weekend I got invited to do an overnight backpack trek out to Ancient Lakes. How could I say no?! I have been itching to get outside for a trek since I moved to Seattle. My new friend Sarina and her husband Ryan had just gotten a bunch of new gear and they were also itching to try everything out. I didn't plan any of this trip, Sarina did all the work. But I am so glad she invited me!

Friday night, Sarina, Ryan, our other friend Vicki and I drove out and stayed in a motel in Quincy, WA, a little less than a 3 hour drive from Seattle. The next morning, we got coffee (somehow Ryan misheard me and thought I said iced Americano with "whipped cream & sugar" and not "with cream & sugar" so my drink came out a little funky, pretty funny though), then we stopped at McDonald's and ate a quick breakfast, then we were on our way to the trail head. We were a little confused at directions at first, but after a few google searches later we were able to get the coordinates and found the West parking lot to Ancient Lakes. 

The trek out to the camping spots was an easy 2 miles, with very little elevation gain. There's no rules of where you have to camp, it's pretty much a free for all. We ended up settling on a spot on top of a hill with an already manmade fire pit. We pitched our tents, ate lunch, lounged around, and then decided to hike the loop around Ancient Lakes. We started the loop heading left first towards the waterfall, besides some rock scrambling, the trail was pretty easy to navigate. We did about 6 miles we estimated, saw some snakes, an owl, and a marmot, and got back to our camping spot mid afternoon. 

We napped, ate dinner, mingled with other campers, roasted marshmallows over our fire pit, and just lounged around the rest of the night. We also stargazed a bit and saw the typical Big Dipper, Orien's Belt, and a planet (I'm thinking it was Jupiter or Mars?). Our first day of trekking was a success!

The next morning, the girls all woke up to catch the sunrise and then proceeded to go back to sleep. Eventually we all got up, made breakfast, and packed up our tents. The 2 miles back to our car was easy peasy. 

So happy to be back on the trails with my trusty blue pack! I can't believe my last backpacking trip was last November with Don & Robb. Never again am I going that long without backpacking! 

If you want directions and trail info for Ancient Lakes, use WTA or read my Yelp review :) Also, here is a link to Sarina's blog post on Ancient Lakes as well.

Until next time Quincy!


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