Blue Lake Basin - Sky Lakes 10-25-17

We had a beautiful day for the hike with full sun and temps mostly in the 50s. On the drive up we had some icy spots on DIM and the Medford hikers had icy spots on Highway 140. At about the 5,000' level we started experiencing snow on FS 3651 which seemed to alternate with flooding in spots as we neared the trailhead.

The trails were snow covered in places with from an inch or two up to 5 or 6 inches. We estimated that we had snow on roughly 1/3 of the hike although estimates by the group ranged from 5% to 70%. In any case, the snow did slow us up a bit with our average moving speed of only 2.2 MPH.

On the way in we stopped at the Judge Waldo Tree memorial at Island Lake .  Judge Waldo was instrumental in the designation of the 4.5 million-acre Cascade Forest Reserve in 1893.

We reached Horseshoe Lake at 12:45 and 4 of us decided to declare victory there and enjoy lunch. The 3 hikers on the A Team decided to press on to Blue Lake for their lunch. We met up again back at the trailhead for the trip down to Buffalo Wild Wings for happy hour refreshments.

Ashland Hiking Home

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