Pete Lake

Trail No. 1323

OCTOBER 4, 2009  This short and easy hike to Pete Lake on a clear fall day was a welcome change from the strenuous conditioning hiking schedule of the summer.  The trail gains very little elevation as it travels through pretty forest, accented at this time of the year by  colorful vine maples and the spicy scent typical of a hike on the east slopes of the Cascades.  The wildflowers are long gone, but there is a surprising variety of mushrooms in the woods.  We made quick work of the trail and in no time arrived at the lake.  A storm the night before brought fresh snow to the higher elevations, and snowy Lemah Mountain and Chickamin Peak made a stunning backdrop for pretty Pete Lake.   It was a relaxing hike on a sunny day, and as we sat by the lake to eat lunch, I felt very lucky indeed.  It was a view few restaurants can match. 

Not far from the lake the trail is closed due to a fire on the PCT this summer.  I had hiked through the area a few days after the fire started in July, and at that time it was just smoldering and the ranger was allowing hikers to continue on the PCT.  Now there is a long detour from Park Lakes that follows the Mineral Creek Trail, 2 Forest Service roads, and the Pete Lake trail.    The detour is described as unpleasant at best, with the brushy Mineral Creek trail in bad repair.  On this day, however, there was no evidence of the fire from our vantage point, with the exception of the PCT signs along the Forest Service road on our drive in. 

9 1/2 miles

400' gain