Ross Lake Resort (Oct 19-23, 2012)

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ross_lk_resort_coverConditions:
Gear:
Map: USGS Ross Dam, USGS Pumpkin Mountain
Area: Ross Lake
Reference:
Stats: 5.5mi, 1042' gain (round trip from the resort)


Nice return to the resort. It was about the same kind of weather as last year (same time). This go around we got an extra night so the trip was 5 days instead of 4. We caught the afternoon boat out of Diablo and then once again, it was a wet but beautiful boat ride up the lake to Ross Dam. A debark here...up the steps and onto a tractor trailer went all the gear (this time we packed smarter meaning waterproof plastic bins and bags). We walked up a short stretch of road while the tractor hauled the gear up to the waiting truck. Then another gear transfer, moving the gear from the tractor trailer into the back of a diesel truck. Then a short ride up and over the bank on the side of the dam and then down to the next staging area at the base of the dam on Ross Lake. Another gear transfer of the gear into the back of the boat and then finally, we were dropped off right at the door of Cabin #3, our comfy home for the next few days.

Friday, our first partial day, was a wet day. We spent the time getting settled in, getting a nice warm fire going, and catching up on news.

Saturday turned out to be another wet day. Perfect for us both to catch up on reading. It was wonderful to hear the sound of the rain on the lake and metal roof, and the crackle of the fire.

Sunday turned out to be the bluebird day of the trip. Crisp temps but clear blue skies, sun and beautiful views of the night time snows just a few hundred feet up from the lake level. We rented a couple of kayaks from the resort and paddled up Ross Lake to the north. Jack Mtn looked stunning with the recent snows. Not wanting to fight headwinds on the paddle back to the resort, we headed back then paddled to near the base of Happy Falls, meandered around a bit and then finished the paddle off by taking a line that brought us right in front of our cabin. Awesome. Sunday was yet another relaxing evening of reading, listening and watching the evening rain and snowshoers, and catching up with some of the neighbors in the other cabins, many who we remembered and who remembered us from our stay last year. We've apparently been dubbed "regulars" now that we've been to the resort two consecutive years.

Monday was once again rainy. We donned the goretex and decided to head up the West Bank for a hike. Lots of beautiful fall colors along the trail. So different from the time when I'd hiked up the trail to Big Beaver campground in July. The hike was interesting in that right at the junction with the Pierce Mtn Way trail (heads off towards Sourdough Mtn) I saw what looked like an old trail heading off to the east toward the lake. I wanted to poke around a bit. It was clear at first that people followed the trail to the high point just before the trail dropped down toward the lake. Later, looking at the map, the trail appears to drop towards Cougar Island. I found an old trip report on WTA and the trail does go all the way down to the lake. It's clear though it's not maintained. Once it starts to drop the dirt path becomes covered in moss. The trail becomes even more faint as there are several downed trees covering the trail. I seriously doubt it's logged or even hiked often because the trail tread is completely covered in moss (instead of being bare dirt).

Tuesday was a short day, a little wandering around the resort, and then it was the early boat ride to being the journey back out. Great trip. Ross Lake Resort is a really comfortable, quiet, and scenic retreat.
 
Ross Lake Resort Slideshow

west_bank_trail_map
(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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