Thursday, August 9, 2018

Watson Lakes and Anderson Butte

Chris and Victoria
Today fourteen Senior Trailblazers made the long, long trek south to the trailhead for Watson Lakes and Anderson Butte. I believe this is one of the longest drives in our repertoire, more than 70 miles one way, crossing over the Baker Dam and then traveling several difficult miles on a rutted gravel road. Finally we got to the trailhead after what seemed like forever, and we piled out of our cars and donned our hiking shoes and backpacks. We hiked a mile or so when we got to the turnoff to Anderson Butte. That's where you see the ladies above, with hazy mountains behind them, caused by forest fires.
Trail to Anderson Butte
This trail is steep, climbing for more than a mile what seemed straight up to me, but we finally made it to the overlook, with a great view of Mt. Baker.
Melanie and Mt. Baker
The bugs weren't too bad, but this spot is where they were the worst: mosquitoes were just hanging out in those trees waiting for us, it seemed. We took our pictures and headed back down to the trail that would take us to Watson Lakes.
Heading back down the side trail to the Butte
The good part about this side trip is that much of it was in shade, which made a big difference, since it was a hot day and when out in the direct sun, it was hard for me and a few of the others. I don't do well in the heat. But we did see a lovely stream at one point.
Monkey flowers
Then we descended down into the valley with both Watson Lakes. The scenery certainly helped make me feel a bit cooler, although I suspect the temperature was in the high 80s (30°C) and I suffered until...
Watson Lakes
...we rounded a corner and saw both of the lakes and felt a distinct welcoming breeze coming off them. The trail was well maintained, but you had to keep your eye on it the whole time, since it was rocky in places, with lots of steep ups and downs.
Our lunch spot
The place where we had lunch was one of the most perfect places where I've ever enjoyed a meal, with great friends and a delightful breeze that kept the bugs at bay. Several of my friends went skinny dipping in the lake and looked incredibly refreshed when they came back to join us.
The larger Watson Lake
After lunch, we walked over a slight ridge to enjoy a closeup of the larger of the two lakes, before heading back up that long uphill that would take us back to the main trail. It was hot and difficult for me, but our leader, Jim, was very solicitous and made sure I was all right. I finally asked them to just go ahead, while Frank, Melanie and I stayed behind, going at our own pace.
Our return trip to the cars
It was a long day, once again, with me walking into my home after 6:00pm, but we had hiked seven hard miles with 2,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. The views were wonderful, the company great, and now I am looking forward very much to a shower to get the bug spray and sunscreen off. Glad to be home, but very glad I went as well.


  1. That heat would have done for me. I would have been in that cooling lake and resisting any attempts to get me out.
    Colour me impressed (as always) at your persistence and determination.
    And thank you for those glorious views.

  2. The bugs would do me in for a start Jan. You are amazing to persevere the elevation, heat and insects. The lunch spot looks lovely. Great photos.

  3. That was a very long day in the heat. I find that finishing a hike, getting in a car and driving 70 miles is a killer. I stiffen up much more than usual.

  4. Clear, clean air and skies. Be thankful for those.

  5. A hike well worth making. Glorious landscapes!

  6. I love that lunch spot. Almost worth the blood donations to the mosquitoes and the heat. Amazed how you don't let those things stop you. At least we get to go along vicariously while enjoying our A/C.

  7. You had a very long day, but filled with beauty and charm.

  8. The bugs, heat, and steep climb would have done me in when I was healthy--LOL! Looks like it was beautiful up there with the view of the mountains and the lakes. Such good friends! :)

  9. Wonderful pics, Djan! Pretty flowers along the way, shade most of the way, a lovely spot for lunch in such a beautiful setting — a perfect mix.

    I love walking through our rainforest trails but, at the moment, I'm sidelined with a torn hip tendon that refuses to heal — ever since a fall in October 2016. Even slight uphill territory causes me significant pain so I sure felt for you in that part of your walk on the way back.

  10. That is a hike I would love, but only if it was cool and fresh. High summer heat limits me severely.

  11. I would have skinny dipped in that lake:) Glad you are home safe and sound. Do you have air quality warnings? We do here from the Canadian fires:(

  12. Indeed, that looks like the perfect spot for a picnic. Glorious views. It must feel great to accomplish all those hikes.

  13. Beautiful! Ya, those fires everywhere are sister who lives in Colorado (and has a spectacular view of the San Juan Mtns.) hasn't seen the peaks in weeks because of smoke!

    What an arduous hike, I can't stop wondering just why you failed to mention having a glass of wine after your shower!!

  14. That's a lot of elevation gain and loss! Good for you in the heat. Our peaks have been hazed by wildfire smoke all summer. Sometimes, it's so bad, we have to keep windows closed.

  15. What an incredible view of Mt. Baker, and traveling 70 miles to get there is quite a trip. Ummm.... but those mosquitoes would truly deter me.


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