Categories
Hiking

Diamond Peak Loop Days 3 & 4 – 08/24 & 8/25/2020

Morning of day three was a little less smoky and we were eager to get an early start to try and avoid doing the long climb from Notch Lake to the divide above the Pacific Crest Trail in the afternoon heat. We were up with the sunrise and after coffee and some granola we were back on the Diamond Peak Trail heading north.
IMG_4667

IMG_4676

IMG_4678Some blue sky again.

The trail lost 500′ of elevation over the next mile including some steeper drops before arriving at a junction with the Happy Lake Trail.
IMG_4679Happy Lake Trail junction.

We detoured left here for the half mile hike down to Happy Lake.
IMG_4680

Unlike the Blue Lake Trail the Happy Lake Trail was fairly level losing less than 100′ of elevation before passing by a large meadow and arriving at the lake.
IMG_4687Just a small part of the meadow.

IMG_4692

IMG_4693

We set our packs down and then followed a path to a hard to see waterfall along the lakes outlet creek.
IMG_4698

IMG_4699

It might have been hard to see the whole thing but it sounded wonderful. There were also a lot of wonderfully ripe berries in the area.
IMG_4710

A viewpoint along the cliffs gave us a look at the rocky pillar of Mt. Yoran which we would be passing on the way to the divide later in the day.
IMG_4713

After enjoying the lake and waterfall (and consuming quite a few berries) we returned to the Diamond Peak Trail and continued on. It was a mile and a half to our next trail junction and we were pleasantly surprise to find that this stretch of the trail had seen some recent maintenance which made the going that much easier.
IMG_4717

IMG_4721

IMG_4725We think this was Bear Creek. Other than the outlet of Happy Creek no other creek beds had flowing water on this side of the mountain.

IMG_4727Diamond Peak from the trail.

At the junction we left the Diamond Peak Trail and turned right onto the Diamond Peak Tie Trail.
IMG_4730

IMG_4731

This trail had also recently been cleared and was lined with huckleberries. It was also apparent that this was a much wetter area than we’d been in so far along the loop which meant mosquitoes which kept us from stopping for long.
IMG_4735

IMG_4734

IMG_4736

IMG_4740One of several damp meadows.

IMG_4746The creeks were still dry though.

IMG_4749An unnamed lake.

After two miles on the Diamond Peak Tie Trail we arrived at the Vivian Lake Trail. We had been on the other end of this trail when we visited Vivian Lake in 2013 (post).
IMG_4753

IMG_4755

We turned right onto this trail and in a quarter mile arrived at rock rimmed Notch Lake.
IMG_4759Small unnamed lake just before Notch Lake.

IMG_4760Another little lake/pond near Notch Lake.

IMG_4761Notch Lake

This was a really neat lake and we would have loved to stick around a bit but all the standing water in the area made for a lot of pesky mosquitoes so we unfortunately had to move on pretty quickly.
IMG_4766

IMG_4769_stitch

IMG_4775Beargrass

Approximately .2 miles beyond Notch Lake the Vivian Lake Trail veered left and the Mt. Yoran Trail split to the right.
IMG_4776

IMG_4778

The Mt. Yoran Trail climbed at an increasingly steep grade over the next 1.7 miles before gaining a ridge and leveling out.
IMG_4780

IMG_4784

IMG_4786Diamond Peak from the trail; the smoke was back.

IMG_4791Textured mushroom

IMG_4795On the ridge.

The trail followed the ridge with some small ups and downs for a mile before dropping to Divide Lake at the base of Mt. Yoran.
IMG_4801

IMG_4803Diamond Peak

IMG_4804Lousewort

IMG_4808Mt. Yoran from the trail.

IMG_4814Diamond Peak again.

IMG_4815Mt. Yoran on the left and the divide on the right.

IMG_4820Passing under Mt. Yoran.

IMG_4823Please tell me that’s a seed and not that the ground squirrels have taken up smoking.

IMG_4824Divide Lake

IMG_4828

IMG_4829

The mosquitoes weren’t nearly as bad here so we were able to take a nice long break before resuming our trek.
IMG_4846Blue sky making a comeback.

IMG_4831

IMG_4835Diamond Peak from Divide Lake

IMG_4851Climbers trail to Mt. Yoran.

IMG_4853Thank goodness it was a seed.

When it was time to continue we followed the Mt. Yoran Trail around Divide Lake and past two smaller unnamed lakes before making the steep 300′ climb to the divide.
IMG_4855

IMG_4857Beardtongue

IMG_4862Mt. Yoran from Divide Lake

IMG_4865

IMG_4866One of the unnamed lakes.

IMG_4872Starting up to the divide.

After crossing the divide the trail dropped down to the Pacific Crest Trail.
IMG_4876

We turned left here and followed the PCT downhill for 2 miles.
IMG_4879

Along the way we bumped into another backpacker who was doing the same loop in the other direction. We were able to let him know about the trail conditions ahead and he let us know that the Yoran Lake Trail now continued past Yoran Lake all the way to the Pacific Crest Trail. When we had done our Yoran Lake hike in 2014 (post) we had bushwacked from Yoran Lake to Lils Lake and the PCT so this was welcome news.
IMG_4882PCT

IMG_4887Diamond Peak from the PCT.

IMG_4888Lakeview Mountain

IMG_4890New looking sign at the newly extended Yoran Lake Trail.

IMG_4891

IMG_4893Huge tree mushroom at the junction.

The Yoran Lake Trail passed by Lils Lake and arrived at Yoran Lake in .4 miles.
IMG_4896

IMG_4903Diamond Peak from Yoran Lake.

IMG_4906

IMG_4910

We had originally intended to set up camp here but there were already a number of people at this lake and we weren’t (I wasn’t) feeling all that sociable so we decided to press on to Karen Lake which was less than a quarter mile away. I don’t have a lot of patience to begin with and my Garmin had quite working at Divide Lake due to the memory being too full (at least that’s what I hoped it was, and it was) and that had put me on edge.
IMG_4912Dry creek bed (this feeds Trapper Creek).

IMG_4913Right hand fork to Karen Lake.

Things were much more solitary at Karen Lake aside from a lone duck patrolling the waters.
IMG_4916

IMG_4917

We had camp set up by 3pm and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening enjoying the lake (and the decreasingly smoky skies).
IMG_4919

IMG_4921

IMG_4922Dragon fly visit.

IMG_4944

IMG_4950A little bird joining the duck on the rocks.

IMG_4957

IMG_4963Is this a tadpole? We first thought it was a newt then a fish but it’s got feet.

While the smoke was clearing there were more clouds coming and going, but we had kept a close eye on the forecast before leaving and there hadn’t even an inkling of a chance for precipitation for the trip or the next couple of days.
IMG_4965

IMG_4968The moon was really showing up well over the mountain.

We had just gotten settled in the tent for the night when the light outside turned orange. I threw my clothes back on to try and catch the sunset which was spectacular.
IMG_4976

IMG_4983_stitch

IMG_4990

IMG_5006_stitch

IMG_5010

After a whole lot of picture taking I got back into the tent and we tried to sleep. It didn’t come easy though. I don’t know if knowing we had less than 5 miles the next day before heading home had us excited or if our spot just wasn’t all that comfy but we had a hard time falling asleep. Then just after 4am we both woke up for some reason. Heather was the first to realize why when she asked why her quilt was wet. It took a moment to register but it was raining! Luckily we always carry our rain fly even if there isn’t any rain in the forecast for just such an occasion. We hopped out of the tent and threw it on before it really started to come down which kept everything pretty dry. We heard a couple of rumbles of thunder in the distance and I never could fall back asleep. The showers had mostly stopped by 5:30 am when we decided to start packing up.
IMG_5017Rainfly deployed

IMG_5015Diamond Peak a little after 6am.

IMG_5019Another light shower passing over as we were leaving.

After some coffee we were on our way. It was before 6:30 so it wasn’t very light but it was plenty light for hiking.
IMG_5025Some funny looking beargrass along the trail.

A half mile from Karen Lake we crossed the dry bed of Karen and Yoran Lakes outlets.
IMG_5029

In another half mile we passed a small unnamed lake.
IMG_5035

We encountered a little blowdown along this trail but nothing too bad.
IMG_5045

Two miles from the little unnamed lake we were passing a large meadow on the left when we noticed another lake at it’s end. I decided to go check it out and left the trail. As I neared the meadow a deer jumped up and splashed off into the grasses.
IMG_5049The lake doesn’t show a name on the map but West Bay Creek flows out of it (of course it too was dry at this time of year).

Over the next three quarters of a mile we encountered two little girls hats laying in the trail. We picked them up and left them at the junction with the Whitefish Creek Trail not knowing if the owners were still at one of the lakes and if so which way they’d come from.
IMG_5066

We turned left at this junction following the pointer for the Trapper Creek Trailhead. It was just under half a mile to the closed bridge over Trapper Creek.
IMG_5071

While the bridge didn’t appear to be in that bad of shape we honored the posted closure signs and made our way down to the ford.
IMG_5072

IMG_5077

IMG_5079

The water was cold but it was an easy ford and with only .2 miles left to get back to the car we didn’t have to deal with wet feet for long. We completed our loop having covered 13.1 miles on the third day and 4.7 on the final day for a grand total of 48.4 miles. The trip allowed us to cross the Diamond View Lake, Marie Lake and Diamond Peak, Corrigan and Blue Lakes, and Divide Lake hikes off of our featured hikes to-do list leaving us with just the Erma Bell Lakes hike to complete the 100 featured hikes in Sullivan’s Central Cascades book. Happy Trails!

Flickr: Diamond Peak Loop Day 3 & Day 4

One reply on “Diamond Peak Loop Days 3 & 4 – 08/24 & 8/25/2020”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s