Frog Lake Buttes

Mountain bike racing is basically done for the season, so now it’s time to start diversifying the weekends a bit more.  Mia and I need to get Codi into hiking shape for our vacation coming up in July so we opted to get him out on a jaunt near Mt. Hood this weekend.  I wanted to do something that we had not done before and stumbled upon the Frog Lake Buttes hike while doing some online searching.  Part of this hike would hit lower Twin Lake which we had already done before and today reminded me that we really need to go back there to do some camping.

35119669001_813fd732eb_z
day use area along Frog Lake

The drive up 26 was a mix of clouds and drizzle.  As is typical though once we crested the pass and started heading down the other side things were looking a bit better.  Still cloudy, but more puffy whites than drizzly grays.  Plus the sun peeked out a few times for us during the hike.  Also the mandatory stop at Joe’s Donuts was required on the way out.

35119600131_5258cb8ea3_z
Starting out on the Pacific Crest Trail

From the Frog Lake Sno Park we jumped onto the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) until the intersection with the Twin Lakes Trail.  The PCT can feel like a dirt super highway.  It is super wide, packed down and can get a bit busy at times.  Today though we saw 1 person and that was all, there are definitely benefits to hiking when the weather is a bit questionable.  Come mid-July this trail will  be swamped on most weekends (yes, I can be a bit of a hiking snob at times)  I like my more out of the way hikes and some peace and quiet.

35249031715_394f1efcc3_z
We had quite a bit of snow today

The deeper we got into the woods the more plentiful the snowpack got.  I knew we’d run into some, but man…..it was impressive this late in the year.  We topped out around 4800′ in elevation today but a lot of it is north facing so the snow is taking longer to melt.

35083709732_478b4d8e07_z
Lower Twin Lake

We ran into a couple and their dog who had camped at the lake Saturday night.  They said about 3am they got some light drizzle but otherwise, other than cold temps, it was fine.  Once again reminding me that we need to do an overnight out here.

It was a steady climb from lower twin lake up the frog lake buttes trail.  The snow got a bit crazy at times and there were a lot of blowdowns to go over, under or around.

35119031161_a9cc2d4475_z
Mia looking for a way around another trail blockage
34404730724_90dd147dee_z
trail blockage

It was supposed to be only 1/2 mile from the last trail intersection to a viewpoint at the top of the southern butte.  We kept losing the trail because of all the snow though.  There were no blazes to follow and so much detritus down on the ground that we decided to call it and turn back to the intersection to drop back down to Frog Lake.  After downloading the GPS route when we got home it was apparent we were not far off, but the trail was tough to see.

34439580263_89b7299897_z
no apparent trail here
34404666934_bf20693b4e_z
An obscured Mt Hood over there

We had a quick lunch stop before dropping 1.5 miles back down to Frog Lake Campground and then a short gravel road walk back to the car.

34404588024_5155562471_z
It was chilly,  had to make some hot food and put on the puffer
35248563595_c986f0566b_z
Keeping Codi hydrated

The viewpoint we missed is occupied by a cell tower, so I’m not overly disappointed that we didn’t make it.  The hike was still a good 7+ mile day and Codi is sleeping on his love seat as I type this.  A tired dog is a good dog!

Codi also tried to take a “stick” with him at one point.  Not sure he quite understands snow and ice and that this was probably still connected to a buried tree.

 

Thanks for reading,

-Pete

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s