Azalea Lake 7-5-21

Photos by Linda and Randy

Monday's hike to the Azalea Lake overlook was a success on many levels, but with some unexpected occurrences along the way.

We started out at 8:30, but 8:00 would be advisable for the time and distance to TH. We arrived at the TH parking at 10:45. The last 10 miles were dusty and tricky, but the temp was 75 with a nice breeze at 5,200'.

The trail starts uphill through forest on a rocky path then drops down into the Fir Glade which was featuring blooming Corn Lilies.

All along the 5 mile trail out to the lake overlook there was lots of color from many varieties of wildflowers. To mention a few, there were orchids in the forest both Coralroot and Rattlesnake along with Wild Ginger hiding under their heart shaped leaf; Azure blue Penstemons lit up the whole 5 miles; and in the last mile Washington Lilies bloomed white then turned a rosy pink. Many other flowers are pictured in this post.  

The trail makes a right turn coming out of the glade, then makes a slow but steady ascent up to the ridge that goes out to the lake.

The temperatures ranged from 75 to 85 but seemed like more with the sun beating down on the rocky trail in the canyon at about 4 miles into the hike. That heat up from the rocks drained two of our hikers who sought shade for lunch and a turn around for the day's hike. Two more from another car joined them, and those 4 completed an 8 mile RT.

The remaining 4 completed the last mile up to the overlook at 6,000' and had a cool and constant breeze to help them up. There's still plenty of evidence from the Miller Complex fire that burned up the hillside and around most of Azalea Lake, but green groundcover is growing up between burnt trees.

The final 4 made it back to parking at 4:45 pm. Tired but happy to complete this special hike.

Next Monday is to the Red Buttes on the PCT with an 8:00 am start. 8 miles RT to Echo Lake with 1,300' gain.

All are welcomed,
Rich

Ashland Hiking Home

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