Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fall Colors in the Mountains - Lake Ingalls

Our first view of Mt. Stuart

Frank, Jennie, and I at Lake Ingalls

Jennie and Frank and Mt. Stuart

Jennie and Mt. Stuart
Larch in fall colors
We had a big snow year last winter (La Nina) and now that the snow has finally melted enough to hike high up in the mountains, it's almost winter again! I made it out for one last (and first?) hike this season to Lake Ingalls on the East side of the Cascades near Cle Elum. Unbeknownst to us, this hike was recently featured in Sunset Magazine as one of the best fall hikes near Seattle. Needless to say, the trail was full of hikers trying to enjoy the last days of summer. And now I know why; this is an amazing hike. If you have the chance to head up to Lake Ingalls, DO IT. It's a long hike, and there is quite a bit of elevation gain, but it's never terribly steep. There are a few rocky sections that require a bit of scrambling though.

The views of Mt. Stuart were stunning. The larch in fall colors were beautiful. The temperature was perfect - chilly enough not to get too hot, but not cold. If I had known there would be such a great camping spot at the top, I would have brought my tent and sleeping bag. We could not have asked for a more perfect day for a hike. In the words of Jennie, "For all the people who complain about the weather in the Pacific Northwest, I would just like to point out that this is October!"

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