Cutthroat Lakes (Oct 19, 2018)

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cutthroat_lks_oct_slideshowConditions: day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Mallardy Ridge
Area: Mountain Loop Hwy
Reference: 100 Hikes in Washington's Glacier Peak Region: The North Cascades
Stats: 5.87mi, 1767' gain (round trip)

I finally made it to the lakes! Steve and I were up this trail in late August during a wet spell. The weather called for a possibility of rain...a small amount. Well it turned out to be a good old fashioned summer rain shower. We weren't going to see much of the lakes so right below the steep climb up to the lake we found a nice rock to have lunch. We then turned around and looked for frogs and picked huckleberries.

This time, the weather forecast was good. I thought I'd try one last time to get to the lake this year. I checked with Dani and she and Tom were planning a hike. They suggested Cutthroat Lks. Well that was easy to say yes!

We didn't start too early. The weather called for morning fog. We wanted to wait for this to burn off. The good news is that we'd be doing the hike on a weekday. I was a bit concerned because the parking at the trailhead is really limited. We arrived at the trailhead, the first car, and started hiking by about 9:30am.

We made good time cruising up the trail. We weren't in a huge rush but we did manage a few stops to photograph mushrooms. Let's just say there were a LOT of mushrooms out on this trail...a crazy amount of mushrooms. We reached Steve's and my "lunch rock" in about 1hr10min (2mi, 3100').

Now it was time to hike some new trail. From the "lunch rock" the trail headed across a small boulder field and then went back in the woods. There were a few short switchbacks and then the trail flattened off a bit before it reached the base of the longer series of switchbacks (2.3mi, 3576').

We popped out into the start of the lakes area at about 2.9mi (4169') and I can really say I'm glad I managed to get myself up here. It's a beautiful place. Lots of little tarns at first. We found a nice bump to plop down at and we have a nice lunch. It was a warm day (I hiked most of the day in short and a short sleeve t-shirt). We were in full sun and it felt more like summer. I think it was Tom that called it Augtober.

Tom wanted to tag a new peak so he headed off about 12;30pm to head up Bald Mtn. Dani and I spent most of the time exploring the small tarns. I headed up the main trail a bit further and got to an overlook where I finally saw one campsite and a bigger lake below me.

A little over 2hrs after he left Tom was back and we had a nice hike out. I was amazed at how many blueberries were still on the bushes. The place was loaded when Steve and I were there in August. We picked to our hearts content. Still...there were still so many blueberries left on the plants.

It's a nice hike. I'll be back...
 
Cutthroat Lakes Slideshow

cutthroat_lks_oct_map
(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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