Sky Lakes from the Cold Springs Trailhead 8-16-21

Photos by Darryl, Linda and Randy

The thick smoke that covered the Cascades began to lift Monday morning so we took a chance and hiked the Cold Springs trail out to Isherwood Lake.

After a dusty drive up the 10 mile road to parking, I showed our group of 8 the black pvc pipe that pours water into Cold Springs (good for refills at hike's end); and Randy took our group shot in front of an old wood shed. After resourceful Kay retrieved her two way radio, we were off heading up the Cold Springs trail through forests burnt in the 2017 fire 1.8 miles to the T intersection. Along the way we saw brilliant pink Fireweed, low growing Huckleberries, and new growth Pine saplings.

We met two groups of hikers both going towards Isherwood and on the way back from the lake. The first group was from Klamath Falls and said they had read about the AHG on the internet.

Our chance call for hiking Monday turned out to be the right one as we had moderate air quality with a clearing breeze in the afternoon.

After a left at the T intersection, we hiked another 2 miles up to the lakes and left the burnt forest behind us. The first lake we came to on our left was beautiful Natasha. I think many in our group would have loved to spend the day there. After first glance you next notice a refreshing breeze coming off the lake then a path that takes you right up to the water. We would come back to Nastasha after lunch.

Next we passed by Elizabeth on our right. We were looking down on this lake from the trail and saw that it had a kidney shape. Finally we reached Isherwood, the big lake, at about 12:30, and headed in at an obvious campsite for lunch and an overlook of the lake. Temps were in the low to mid 70s and the clearing breeze off the lake erased any smell of smoke.

After lunch we had to decide, complete the loop trail or head back the way we came. Bob and Randy decided to complete the loop so they get more views of Isherwood and also the Heavenly Twin Lakes.

Back at the parking lot, we 6 had hiked 7.6 with about 400' gain and Bob and Randy joined us minutes later having gone 8.2 miles and about 500' gain.

For refreshments, some stopped at the Lake of the Woods Resort, where our newest member Gabriele introduced us to the Shanty, a mix of half beer and half lemonade!

It was a great day on the trail...and after.
Rich

Track download: Sky Lakes from the Cold Springs Trailhead 8-16-12.gpx

Ashland Hiking Home

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