River front cabins, Winthrop, Washington
Day 1, Rainy Lake & Washington Pass
Rainy Lake is at 4500 ft elevation and Washington Pass is higher at 5500 ft. The short trail to Rainy Lake is asphalt and wide enough for a wheelchair or walker. There are several benches along the trail. There were nice outhouses at each of the trails we visited.
"What do you see, Bob?"
"Reflections in the lake and a magnificent waterfall!"
Bob's zoom-in view of the waterfall
A young couple asked us to take their photo in this spot and in return they took one of us!
From Rainy Lake we drove a short distance to Washington Pass where there were lookout spots for views of the surrounding mountains. Like Rainy Lake, the trail up to the lookout areas was paved but was probably not suitable for wheelchairs or walkers.
Views from Washington Pass
Looking down on the road below
Clouds rolling in over the mountains
Totals for Rainy Lake & Washington Pass: 22 hikers including two toddlers and an infant in a front carrier, 1 dog
Day 2, Cutthroat Lake
No camping within 1/4 mile of the lake
Munch, munch, munch, too busy eating to care about people passing by
The trail is packed dirt and while not really wide enough to walk side-by-side it is not narrow or overgrown.
Pipsissewa going to seed
This log bridge without rails was about 8 feet above the creek. Our friend has Parkinson's and decided it was not a good idea for him to attempt the bridge or fording the creek. I didn't want to chance it with my still healing Archilles and stayed with him while Bob went on the rest of the short distance to the lake.
Bob's photo of Cutthroat Lake
Amanita muscaria (poisonous)
This very attractive mushroom can be yellow, orange or red with warty white bumps. Do not eat (or maybe not even touch), it is poisonous.
Totals for the day: 32 hikers, 4 bikes, and 4 dogs
Day 3, Blue Lake
View of the Liberty Bell group from the road
Another camping sign
We had hoped to see some of the golden yellow larch trees but were just a little too early in the season to see very many.
Close up of the bright green larch tree needles that will soon turn golden yellow
The remains of an old log cabin
One of the mountain tarns on the Tarn Loop Trail next to Blue Lake. There was a nice meadow also.
Ground cover turning red
Looking down on Blue Lake from the Tarn Loop trail
Sign on the Tarn Loop trail identifying the Liberty Group mountains
A tree growing in or near a hole in the mountain side
The Blue Lake trail had some rocks and roots as well as avalanche chutes with loose gravel, rocks and dirt. On the way down from Blue Lake I fell in an avalanche chute and managed to both sprain and fracture my left ankle. Bob always carries a first aid kit and was able to wrap my ankle with an Ace bandage. Then, with slightly more than 1 mile back to the parking area, we inched slowly along. I am hoping to retire the cane and fancy gray boot in a couple of weeks but the accident has ended my hiking for the rest of this season.
Totals for the day: In the morning on the way up we counted 73 hikers and 3 dogs, in the afternoon the count had exceeded 100 hikers and some more dogs. The fall and the mile walk out on sprained and fractured ankle resulted in an incomplete count for the afternoon.