Our Washington girls love their backpacking trips! Ambassador Sulee is no exception. Check out todays blog as she takes you women who hike on her adventure through Ancient Lakes! True Mountain Chick right here. Become an official member when you're done reading!
Hello everyone! Ambassador Sulee here from the WA chapter to share my first backpacking trip with you guys.
As many of you know, sunny days are hard to come by in the winter/spring season here. So we decided to chase the sun to central Washington and backpack to ancient lakes. I'd like to take this time to advise everyone to check trail reports on where you're going so you know what to expect and how to pack. Preparation is key!
So off we went on Wednesday morning with the adventure pups. If you've ever driven to central WA you know it is a beautiful drive. You're surrounded by mountains mostly the entire way and you cross a big bridge overlooking the Columbia river gorge. If you have time I recommend stopping at the scenic view point just a little past the bridge. The sunset from there is breathtaking and absolutely GORGEous. Ha! Pun intended. Central WA has a different terrain and landscape than the west side, that's why I love Washington so much. You can get anything from mountains and trees to complete dessert. Everything you want and more all in one state.
We arrived to the TH in a little under three hours driving from Auburn, which is about 30 minutes south of Seattle. Saw only three cars which had me excited, this is why we're weekday adventurers! We strapped on our packs and headed down the trail. Ancient lakes is 12 miles round trip with hardly any elevation gain. Whether you chose to make it 12 miles or not is up to you. The trail is much like a loop that goes towards a waterfall, ancient lakes and dusty lake then back to the TH. You can camp anywhere that you find fitting however if you hike about 2 miles in going left following the trail to the waterfall, you'll start to see established camp spots from other backpackers. Campfires are allowed here but there aren't any wood so you'd have to haul it in. You'd also have carry in all the water that you need if you want to overnight as the water in the lakes are not drinkable.
We decided to set up camp in an established spot with a campfire ring already made overlooking the lake. Boy did we pick a perfect spot! I saw five other tents from afar but ancient lakes is such an open space that everyone was spread out and we still got the solitude we wanted. After we set up camp, I failed to put on the rainfly and we got poured on for about 5 minutes! Trust your instincts everyone, sometimes the weather man is not accurate. After we got poured on, we were rewarded with the most beautiful sunset and clear skies that night. The reason I stress about checking reports is because if we hadn't we wouldn't have known to pack extra warm. Even though it was 50 degrees and warm during the day, the temperature dropped well below freezing that night. Even with how much we packed to stay warm it was still a little chilly! We were very fortunate to have a clear night and the stars lit up the sky. We got to run wild and do some night shots before tucking in for the night. By sunrise everything was frosted. The sunrise itself was spectacular. We enjoyed our breakfast, packed up and headed back around 9am before the sun got too hot.
If you plan to overnight this in the winter/spring pack extremely warm and remember to carry all your water. For the summer, I suggest hiking in during sunset for an overnight and leaving shortly after sunrise. There is no shade and the sun is piercing in the summer. Heat exhaustion and dehydration could sneak up on you without even realizing it. With that being said, I had such an awesome time and it was the perfect place to welcome backpacking season with open arms!
Until next time, happy backpacking!
Have some backpacking trips you're thinking about taking? Let us know on Instagram! We'd love to see your stories. Become and official member of Mountain Chicks and hike with some badass ladies like Sulee here! Happy trails.