It’s been far too long since we have hit the trail and posted to our blog. Two primary reasons are responsible for our overly long absence from the outdoors scene. The primary reason being that Bobby and I found out we’re expecting our first baby this July! Dealing with the woes and wonders that come along with first trimester of pregnancy left me feeling unenthused about spending a day hiking about the woods.
The secondary reason is that it’s snowboarding season for Bobby (the pregnancy has kept me sidelined from such a potentially dangerous activity). This past weekend though we finally ventured out to the scenic Cascade Mountain Range and off on an adventure!
Seeing as this was my first trip out into the woods in awhile we decided to take it easy and looked for something with little to no elevation gain. Scouring the recent WTA trip reports I found the perfect spot! The hike to Barclay Lake is a mere 4.4 mile roundtrip with only 225 feet of elevation gain! We set off and of course had to stop at the wonderfully delicious Sultan Bakery for a doughnut before reaching the trailhead. While the lines at the bakery are always long, the wait is always worth the delectable reward awaiting you at the end. We also learned that you can call ahead with your order, a tip that we may be using in the future. The bakery also serves full breakfast and lunch. The sandwiches that they make there are legendary for both their size and tastiness!
We arrived at the trailhead just past 11:00 and were ready for a day on the trail! The trail takes you through a forest that was logged many years ago. A thick layer of moss covers the old growth stumps that litter the newly developing forest.
There was never enough snow on this trail for snowshoes but we did use our MicroSpikes for a short section of the trail just before, during, and a tiny bit after the river crossing. While other hikers did it without any added assistance we were happy to have the additional traction over the river!
The trail was easy and had only occasional, mild inclines. This was definitely a great place to come to after a hiatus and while pregnant!
We encountered several other groups along the way, almost all of whom had dogs with them. We were the only ones who had our dog leashed. We kept Latigo tethered because of the partially frozen lake that would be our destination for the day. Latigo’s enthusiasm has a tendency of running away with him and into bitterly cold lakes before he thinks about the consequences of such actions.
The trail is overall maintained fairly well with several well built cribwalls, that were a bit slippery on the wooden frames.
The highpoint of this trail was definitely the lake at the end! Merchant Peak and Baring Mountain surround the lake and make for an imposing and picturesque backdrop. We were greatful for the clear day and the sun shining down upon us as we supped on sandwiches on the lakes edge. While there was an inversion occurring that day, our elevation never got above 2500 feet which kept the temperature at around 40 degrees, which was actually pretty perfect!
The road leading to the trailhead (Forest Road 6034) was in fair shape, though the first .5 mile or so had some pretty extreme potholes. We did encounter several walkers along the road as well, so we were sure to keep our speed down in consideration of the locals that use the road as a walking path. There was a privy at the trailhead but it was closed for the season. The garbage cans were also locked, so be sure to pack everything out with you!