Announcing a new Meetup for Seattle Hiking and Photography!
What: Ancient Lakes
When: April 18, 2009 8:00 AM
Where: Click the link below to find out!
Meetup Description: I've been hankering to do an overnight in the desert ever since I went to the Painted Desert in November. So let's get over to the dry side and do a little desert wondering, coyote howling and star gazing.
Ancient Lakes is located in the coulees of the Quincy Wildlife Area between the towns of George and Quincy, Washington. The lakes are accessible by foot or horse only and provide plenty of open space for wandering and pondering, despite being surrounded on all sides by unseen farms and orchards.
The Quincy Wildlife Area is a rolling, gouged landscape with broad flats bounded by basalt cliffs, very much like the Dry Falls area further east. One can imagine the epic floodwaters pouring over the headwall into Potholes Coulee, scouring out the plunge-pools of Ancient Lakes-- and it's the sense that one could be far, far away in time or location that gives this place its appeal. Except for a powerline or two that might be visible, depending on your vantage point.
It's easy to find good hideaways to pitch a tent among its rolling terrain, benches and mesas. Let's go wander the coulees in search of aridland wildflowers, birds and other creatures, geologic formations and sweeping views.
Spring wildflowers in the coulee include sagebrush mariposa lily, yellow paintbrush, arrowleaf balsamroot, nootka rose and mock orange.
A variety of birds live or stop to rest at the Quincy Wildlife Area in season such as Canada geese, teals and ducks, pelicans, swans, sandhill cranes, yellow-headed and red-wing blackbirds, meadowlarks, horned larks, killdeer, sage thrashers, cliff swallows, and soaring birds such as turkey vultures and hawks.
At night, coyotes howl while bats flit about catching insects.
Hopefully these will all make for some dramatic photographs -- especially with the addition of the sun rise/set.
If this is not enticing enough, I'm hoping to talk our fearless leader into leading us in some T'ai Chi at some point.
Map Getting there
From Quincy, drive four miles west on state Route 28, turn left on road U Northwest signed "White Trail Road." Drive one mile, turn right on road 9 Northwest and drive 5.9 miles, past a farm to the recreation area and gated road, at 1,000 feet elevation.
This is really easy. Walk the four-wheel-ride road 1/2 mile to the junction, which is not signed but obvious. If you walk straight another three miles, you will reach Dusty Lake (this is easier than scrambling over the cliffs like we did). For Ancient Lakes, turn left at the junction and hike 3-1/2 miles through sagebrush and flowers to the lakes. The road rises slightly and you'll see a small marshy lake on your right and Ancient Lakes ahead, side by side.
The grassy area between the lakes is the ideal camping spot. A path goes around the lake on the left and under the cliffs, climbing above a waterfall to another shelf with more paths (one of the paths leads to an old mine near the edge of the recreation area).
~We will head back to the Seattle area mid-day Sunday so bring enough food to last you.
~There will be a 15 minute courtesy wait at the park & ride; please be prepared to split traveling fees with your carpool/the group as appropriate.
~Please check the weather and bring appropriate clothing for day and evening temps.
~10 essentials required
~I'll be bringing Goliath and other well socialized dogs are welcome on this trip
Learn more here:http://www.meetup.com/hiking-522/calendar/10108121/