Natasha Lake 8-11-23

Photos by Tysen

Ashland Hiking Home

Nine of us had a beautiful blue-sky day hiking a lollypop journey in the Sky Lakes Wilderness. Tysen served as co-leader and photographer. We began on the Cold Springs Trail to the first intersection, and bore right onto the South Rock Creek Trail for a journey through the area burned in the 2017 fire. We marveled at the renewal underway, with a massive display of beautiful tall Fireweed and a variety of young evergreens.

After almost 2 miles, we were out of the burn area to find lots of Huckleberry, Grouse whortleberry (small and in same family with huckleberry), and currents. Of course, we tasted them all, mostly enjoying the huckleberry. We reached the Heavenly Twin Lakes near our journey’s midpoint, taking a long pause for our lunch break. We enjoyed being between the two lakes, looking south across the lower lake to the mountains covered with burned forests and in the opposite direction across the upper Twin Lake to green forested mountains.

Continuing our journey, we reached the intersection with Isherwood Trail up to the higher lakes. We took it as far as Natasha Lake. Natasha is beautiful and gives easy access to soaking feet or swimming. Three hikers came prepared. They climbed out of hiking clothes and gingerly got in the water, two of them swimming out in the middle while the rest of us looked on.

Following our round robin with chocolate, we returned to the intersection and proceeded on the Cold Springs Trail to complete the other half of the lollypop and on to our cars. With Nancy along, we were able to identify a number of wild flowers, for example Spirea, Pearly Everlasting, and Bleeding Heart. We were an especially happy band of hikers finding the magic in one of the AHG’s favorite hikes.

We completed 6 miles with an elevation gain of 414’.