Lake Caroline (Jun 16, 2019)

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lk_caroline_coverConditions: day hike
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Cashmere Mountain
Area: Alpine Lakes Wilderness
Reference: Day Hiking Central Cascades
Stats: 9.81mi, 3100' gain


I blame Dani for this trip... In this case blame is good. We thought about doing this trip last weekend as an overnight but then remembered at the last minute that the area is part of the Enchantment Permit Zone. So it's been on my mind since then as a day trip. I figured I'd want to do this trip when the weather was nice but not too nice...the trail is mostly south facing so I didn't want to do this on a hot day. Sunday the weather cooperated. Dani and Tom were in, so was Steve...so a full car...cool...

We hit the trailhead (3258') about 9am and it was already pretty busy but we got lucky and found a spot near the TH sign. We packed the gear and headed up the trail. The first mile the trail skirts, crosses, and then follows an old road as it climbs uphill. Right at about a mile the trail leaves that old road and then follows Eightmile Creek. Lots of old burn here...and an incredible numbers of wildflowers. We timed this trip perfectly. Last time I was up this trail was almost exactly 15 years ago when a friend and I attempted Cashmere Mtn but we were surprised by a late Spring snowstorm (and we bailed). This trip was also my first introduction to Tweedyi and I loved them at first sight. I was hoping to see more today. About half way to Little Eightmile Lake Steve noticed he was missing a water bottle so he decided to try to find it. The rest of us continued hiking to Little 8mile (2.54mi, and waited for Steve to return. We didn't have to wait too long. Steve dropped his pack and wanted to filter more water (there isn't much water once the trail starts the climb). That's were the day went a bit sideways...

It seemed like a good time to head uphill. Tom told Steve to be careful and not miss the trail junction. We headed uphill and Steve...missed the junction and headed off to Eightmile Lk instead of Lk Caroline. That was the bad news. The good news is that even though he didn't make it to Lk Caroline he still had a nice hike out to the far side of Eightmile Lk.

The flower show was incredible. I don't remember much about the trail from 15 years ago but now...with this flower show...I can't believe it took me 15 years to get back to this place!

Tom, Dani, and I ended up just hiking to the "pass" above Lk Caroline (4.89mi, 6355'). There wasn't much interest in dropping down to the lake. We found a clearing near the pass that offered us some great views toward Cashmere. After a few photos we decided to head back down and find out where Steve went...
 
Lake Caroline Slideshow

lk_caroline_map
(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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