7/30/2011 – Lodgepole Trail- PCT Loop – 706

Date of Hike: 7/30/2011
Location of Hike: Lodgepole and PCT Trails
Trail Number: 706
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 10:30 AM  End Time: 4:00 PM
Hike Distance: 11 miles  
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
This was intended to be a loop hike, going counterclockwise, starting on the Lodgepole trail, then taking the Red Lake trail to where it intersects with the PCT and taking the PCT east and then north back up to where it intersects the Lodgepole trail. Shortly after the trail starts, there is a poorly marked junction with the PCT – to continue on the Lodgepole trail, I needed to turn right instead of continue straight ahead. I quickly realized my mistake, and decided to to the hike clockwise instead.

This is pretty dry country. The Olallie Meadow campground was closed and looked like a war zone since they had cut down so many trees due to disease and fire. Here is Olallie Meadow:

There were a lot of wood cutters there cutting up the downed trees. The hike started out great – not too many bugs and the temperature wasn’t too bad. It continued to get warmer and warmer throughout the day, and this trail doesn’t have a lot of protection from the sun. I didn’t bring sunscreen (oops!), so I tried to cover my neck and head to keep from getting sunburned. I was mostly successful in that regard. The PCT was in GREAT shape, and I met quite a few people on the trail on my way to Olallie lake. I opted not to stop at the Olallie Lake store on my way through due to having Bodie with me (he isn’t too good around people). I crossed the 4220 road and went by Head Lake and stopped shortly after that at an unnamed lake to have lunch. It was nice – in the shade, next to a lake. The bugs weren’t too bad, either. Bodie took the opportunity to lie down in the lake to cool off a bit.

After the lake, we headed west, to meet the Red Lake trail, passing a few small lakes. We met the Red Lake trail – where we were two weeks earlier that had snow covering the trail – the trail was free of snow and we had an uneventful trip to the Lodgepole trail junction. We hiked up the Lodgepole trail a ways, and stopped at Lower lake to cool off a bit. It was starting to get pretty warm, especially when you are hiking. After a short rest break at the lake, we continued on to Cornpatch meadows (a very interesting place) and finished the hike.

I saw the place we took the wrong turn at the beginning, and the last mile of the hike seemed to take FOREVER. Probably because I was hot and tired and I just wanted to get back to a comfy seat and some A/C. We went down to the Olallie Lake store to see the improvements they made and I bought a cold drink.

All in all a great, although DRY day. I underestimated the amount of water I needed and had to stop a couple of times to fill my bottle. At least there were lots of lakes to choose from.

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