Puck Lakes 6-21-21

Photos by Jerry, John, Linda, Patrica and Randy - Track by Jerry

My mosquito warnings might have scared away a few hikers, but we still had a baker's dozen for our 8 am departure to the High Cascades. With an Ashland high forecast of 100o, we opted for higher elevation and cool mountain lakes.

Our destination was the Puck Lakes on the Nannie Creek Trail in the Fremont-Winema National Forest. An 1 1/2 hour drive with another 20 minutes added for two road project stops. We got to the TH just before 10 with clear skies and 75 degrees.

This new hike for the Monday group had been scouted on June 3 and reports could be found in the Wednesday archives. During the scouting hike there was patchy snow on the trail, but all of that had melted away by Monday.

The group was very prepared for the flying bloodsuckers with applied repellents and special clothing including bandanas and a bug net. Maybe because of the prepping the mosquitos were not an issue at the lakes and we had a wonderful time.

We had beat the heat of the valley and avoided multiple bug bites, but we were still in for a couple of surprises. When we arrived at the shore of Lower Puck Lake our lead scout announced he wanted to explore further up Nannie Creek Trail in search of the rocky viewpoint, so off he went with three followers.

Next two of our lady members asked if they could spend their time at the lake swimming in the cool, clear water. Two thumbs up for them!

Then back to our regullarly scheduled program as I led our remaining six members around the lake with a stop on the northside for lunch at a spot where you can view both lakes on either side. These pristine mountain lakes are at 6,500' with jumping trout and a view of Devil's Peak at 7,400'. Much of the shoreline is rimmed with a groundcover of flowers, including Erica or Mountain Pink Heather.

Our scouting friends found a lot of shale and not much view, but more trails to explore in the Snow Lakes area. They did capture some nice wildflower pics of purple Bleeding Hearts and white Manzanita blossoms.

This new hike is available to all AHG members and is an introduction into the High Cascades above the Sky Lakes Wilderness. we may do more hikes in this region in late summer and fall. Today's was 6.7 miles roundtrip with a gain of 500' mostly coming up from parking on a dried creek bed and then up into the cool forest before reaching the top and about  two mostly level miles to the lakes.

Note: Next Monday promises to be even hotter in Ashland with 106 predicted! We will look for the coolest hike available with Big Red Mountain a likely candidate.

All are welcomed,
Rich

Ashland Hiking Home

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