backpacking
2 days ago

My wife and I took our first backpacking trip of the year up to Spectacle Lake. We hiked in from the parking lot to past Pete Lake to the river crossing - roughly 6 miles. We arrived at 3:30 and landed roughly 3 hours later. We hiked with 100# dog and 20-25# packs. High temps between 80-90 degrees in the day.

River seemed a little cold on arrival so we didn’t care to cross at 6:30 not knowing what lies on the other side.
Set up at a nice little camp spot right by the river though. Mosquitos pretty tough even with spray.

Woke up and encountered several crossers at the river by 9-9:30. We packed up and left to Spectacle. River wasn’t bad at just below knee height with a dog saw people of all ages (12-55) crossing fine. My dog did well as he is tall, another couple with a small 20# dog went down river a little and there dog was fine as well. Definitely recommend water shoes to change into for crossing.

We were warned that it may be too hot with a dog in the exposed area of the climb to Spectacle Lake but decided against the heed to our relief.

There is a nice pretty well covered area for the first 45 min until you become more exposed with burn out sections. By 10:30 even at 75 degrees sun exposure not bad. If anybody fared well it was the dog. New growth on the mountain leaves a 3-4’ canopy on the trail in which the dog spent most of the exposed hike in. The hike through the exposed section consists of an hour or so of switch backs but some less gradual. There are many small streams all along the hike up the mountain.. to a dogs delight or drinks or a good dousing:)

Lots of wild flowers. Greenery and beautiful back drop even with torched trees from a decade ago. There is a wonderful bridged waterfall after driving through the switch backs which is a nice place to chill. There are 3 + areas were you have small stream crossings with no bridge.. But doable for all creatures. Mosquitoes once again can become a nuisance if your not prepared. Bring a facial net as a preference as seen with many hikers (we didn’t bring any but wished we had.)

After nearing the top the canopy of trees once again shades you more. After cresting and viewing small glimpses of the lake there is a sharp drop down if you travel to the SE side of the lake. Once your down around the lake there are access trails all around. The lake mostly surrounded by rock so pick your access wisely if you want to get in.

We jumped in on the SE side with a little beach access. Water was great! A little cold but definitely swimmable after a hike on a hot day. The lake is split up into sections south east side has one smaller section in the larger side to the northwest. There is lots of rock and land in between to travel between the two sections. Beautiful back drop to the West mountains with several cascading waterfalls and snowcapped mountains. We were to the lake roughly 3 hours after breaking camp at the river. We didn’t camp there but noticed several nice camping spots on rock or grass overlooking the lake.

We left to hike back down at around 1:30.-2:00 it was warm close to 90. There are many trails around the leak so it’s easy to get lost if you don’t know which way you came in haha. Hike was warmer in the afternoon but nothing crazy. We crossed the river again and cooked food at the river. We left our tent and some stuff by the river and packed it all ip.. headed back out past Peat Lake to the Parking lot... about 6 miles. Beautiful walk and beautiful hike out as it was in. Well covered with trees not really exposed.... except more mosquitos... once again bring your face net and spray. They were super bad on the way out.... elevation and moisture make a difference but yea. The hike, the lake, the river, the camping and the scenery were all great. Highly recommend for a 2 full day trip.... we made it to the car by 9 pm but hiked 16 miles and went to the lake all in one day! I’ll be back:)