Sky Lakes from the Cold Springs TH 9-24-21

Photos by Kay

The weather was perfect for hiking with excellent air quality, so we headed up DIM to Highway 140 to the 10-mile Rd 3651 to the Cold Springs Trail Head. We were pleasantly surprised that the dirt road was not dusty due to recent rains.

From the parking lot we stopped to see the pipe pouring cold water into Cold Springs. The six of us then hiked up the trail 0.6 mile to the T-intersection of the Cold Springs Trail and South Rock Creek Trail. We turned left onto the Cold Springs Trail walking through the burn area from the 2017 fire. Black snag trees with peeling bark surrounded us for the first part of the trail. We then walked through wooded areas with new saplings as we entered the stony lake basin.

After 2 miles we turned left onto the Isherwood trail. Soon, we spotted the green waters of Natasha Lake and stopped to admire this perfect mountain lake. Walking onward we passed Lake Elizabeth and then arrived at Lake Isherwood.

We perched on rocks for lunch with tranquil views of Lake Isherwood. There were no mosquitoes, but some yellow jackets did try to sample Cynthia’s lunch. Several backpackers passed by on the trail at Isherwood – the only hikers we saw all day.

Reluctantly, we turned back on the trail and enjoyed another visit to beautiful Lake Natasha. As we returned, Diane spotted golden mushrooms growing on a blackened snag, just one of many dramatic trees along the trail. We returned to the parking lot after the almost 7-mile hike with a 400’ elevation gain with an appreciation of the mountain lakes and intrepid hiking friends.

Ashland Hiking Home

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