Day 62 Scotts Pass TH to Santiam Pass TH to Triangle Lake HC

Morning Trail

This was the day we did the horse shuffle for a few days back.  I wanted to use BG because she is not as sensitive to rocks as Mercedes and there would be plenty of rock today.  Ever since Obsidian Falls the trail has been skirting or crossing lava flows.  Starting at Lava Lake trail the trail today was in the lava beds for the next seven miles, slow going, Gary walking slow going.  I had been through this portion of the PCT some years back and remembered the Lava beds as being a couple of miles of atrocious rocky trail, I didn’t remember the lava in the trees, that are now burnt.  The part I remember wasn’t nearly as bad as I remembered while the part I didn’t remember was worse.  We did get through the lava and got back on good dirt trail.

South Matthieu Lake, the last drink BG would have for 20 miles.
Mt. Washington and Three Fingered Jack
Lava Lake, BG wouldn’t drink here.
the beginning of the lava trail
south and middle sisters
Mt Washington over the observatory on McKenzie Pass
From inside the first floor each window frames a mountain. Besides the large windows you can see there are smaller ones for the more distant peaks.
Shadow Guy walks the rocks
the never ending trail
Mt Washington
life forms in the rocks

false end to the lava
there were miles more to come

Most of the trail around Mt. Washington has been burnt, finding the elusive unmarked trail to George Lake as the way is pretty clear without all the trees obscuring the route.  One part of the mountainside that escaped unscathed is on the west side and has the meadow with the clear view of the mountain.

I’ll bet these little strawberries will be tart!
Mt Washington from the meadow
one of the last unburned areas at Big Lake.
Water at last
Afternoon trail


In due time I met up with Janis at Santiam Pass, where we intended to spend the evening before riding on to the Pamelia Creek Trailhead.  The PCT has been closed at Mt. Jefferson due to forest fire.  We saw a forest ranger pull up in his pickup to update the forest fire information board at Santiam Pass.  He informed us that it was the Forest Service’s intention to strictly enforce the limited entry rule at Pamelia forcing the hikers to exit the wilderness on the Woodpecker trail.  Unfortunately for us the road to Woodpecker is no place for a horse trailer.  Janis and I opted to pull up stakes and move to the Triangle Lake HC near Olallie Lake, our next destination after Pamelia.

Trail data: mileposts; 1977-1999, miles ridden; 26, trail time; 9:33, average speed; 2.7, minimum elevation; 4706, maximum elevation; 6111, total ascent; 3679, total descent; 3577

Total miles: 1612

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