Icicle Creek - Rock Island

JUNE 27 - 28, 2009  A Mountaineers backpack trip.  We had beautiful weather for this easy backpack trip to the former car campground at Rock Island, which was closed when the Icicle Creek Road washed out last year.  After a short hike on a by-pass trail and a short road hike to the Chatter Creek Guard Station, we crossed Icicle Creek and hiked the beautiful Icicle Creek Gorge trail to its end at Rock Island.  The campground is situated in a very pretty area on the edge of the creek, and we cooled our feet in the icy water.  After setting up camp, we hiked the Jack Pine trail when we disturbed a grouse unexpectedly.  This is not an often used trail, and the grouse obviously did not like the looks of our group; it flew up in the air and attacked the lead hiker.  The grouse eventually calmed down and retreated off the trail, but it kept a wary watch on our activities. 

After dinner, where my dessert was a disaster, we spent more time down by the creek.  We saw an unusual looking snake that was finally identified as a rubber boa.  Unfortunately the price for spending time in the mountains during the summer months is often paid in blood to ravenous mosquitoes, and we retreated to our tents for a respite.  After dark people came out again to stargaze with the sound of the creek rushing by. 

A large, skinny deer with prominent ribs was grazing on the edge of our camp when we woke up early in the morning.  After breakfast we set our sights on Trout Lake and headed up the trail.  The trail switchbacks up through lovely woods and then swings around the side of the mountain where the views open up suddenly and dramatically.  The wildflowers were in full bloom here, and we enjoyed the views of the mountains as we hiked along.  The trail drops down and returns to the woods, where the mosquitoes were particularly vicious.  We slogged the rest of the way to Trout Lake, but no one bothered to go see the lake.  We retreated from the bugs as fast as we could. 

After our 11 mile round trip hike to Trout Lake, we packed up camp and hiked out.