Approaching Sheep Lake
We have been to Sheep Lake more than once, sometimes as a brief stop on the way to Sourdough Gap; however, until this time we had not walked all around the lake and were not sure it could be done. The trail around the lake almost disappears in places but there are campsites all along the lakeside so it seemed reasonable that there must be a trail going around. Yes, there is a way around the lake. We found an especially nice, private spot at the end of the lake. It had peek-a-boo views, trees, solitude, and a nice log to sit on for lunchtime. Our round trip ended up being about 5 miles with a 500 ft elevation gain. That is pretty good this year for me since my Achilles is still not completely healed.
Looking out from the trail toward the valley
Narrow, sandy, and a gentle grade most of the way to the lake
The trail is a section of the Pacific Crest Trail and each time we have gone to Sheep Lake we have run into some through hikers. This time was no exception. We met a young couple that had started from Mexico in March and were heading to Canada. They planned on doing 18 more miles that day and were hoping to stay in a cabin since their tent was wet from heavy rainfall the night before. Lucky for them we still had oranges leftover from lunch that we shared with them—it is called “trail magic” for through hikers and fun for us to do. We estimated that they probably had already hiked about 5 or 6 miles and at that rate they would make it to the Canadian border in about 2 or 3 weeks. Total distance on the trail from Mexico to Canada is 2,645 miles. We have a Happy Hikers friend who is currently walking the Way of St. James, medieval Pilgrim trail, from France to Spain. That route is hut to hut and is about 1,000 miles. I have great admiration for folks who take on such monumental long distance hikes.
We didn't expect to find many flowers still in bloom so late in the season and were pleasantly surprised at what we did find.
Blue bells of Scotland also called Hare bells
A meadow filled with mountain Aster
Pink Monkey flower, we found a yellow one too
Mountain Ash turning red
Views of Sheep Lake from the loop around trail
This was not the only dog that jumped into the lake
Western toad in a small stream
Bird box for Mountain Bluebird
The two horses passed us before we could get more than just the tail . . .