This winter and spring have been particularly chilly here in Washington so in order to go out and find some sun we trekked over to Eastern Washington for a new type of scenery.
This weekend called for an overnighter and there was a ton of sunshine in our forecast so we packed up our gear and headed east. Ancient Lakes was our destination of choice, a new trail for us all! The trail was easy enough to find at the end of the road although there are two entry points to this trail we took the one listed on Alltrails and WTA and I mapped it out in an image below!
I knew we would want to enjoy the beautiful waterfall and the lake so we kept left on the trail the whole way there. Along the canyons were small running waterfalls here and there and fields of lush green that would then turn into fields of golden brush. The trail was well maintained and very easy to hike on. As soon as we saw the first lake we knew we were close to where we wanted to set up camp. We stayed to the left and hiked up a small hill and were right above the final lake with the beautiful waterfall on the other side.
By this point in time we were soaked in sweat from the extreme heat, it happened to be about 90+ degrees on our way in, and packing in so much extra water definitely added a decent amount of weight to the packs. We found a great camp spot, dropped our bags, and ran to the lake to jump in a cool off before setting up. The water was a perfect temperature, so refreshing after a scorching trip in.
After the cool down we proceeded back up to our bags and set up camp to wait for our other two friends who were on their way in a couple hours after us.
After our friends arrived we all took another dunk in the lake before they set up their tent. One of our friends said he had seen a rattlesnake on the trail on the way in and to be careful. As soon as we started to make some dinner right around dusk I turn to look at both our friends to see a 2 foot long snake slithering right into camp. It wasnt a rattler but it was a good size. After herding it away with a stick we hastily made our dinner just in time for the sun to go down, but then we were faced with another problem. The second the sun went down we were swarmed with mosquitos. We had two citronella candles and had doused ourselves in bug spray all with no luck of fending them off. We quickly grouped up in the tent to escape the horde of bugs and spent the rest of the night playing games and hanging out.
The next morning we woke up early, went swimming, and made our way over to the beautiful waterfall across the lake. The waterfall was crisp, shaded, and cool. We spent a bit more time exploring the lakes surrounding areas and swimming with the fish. After feeling the heat coming back in full waves we decided to pack up quickly and head out.
All in all this was a beautiful trip. Very flat and would have been very easy if it wasn’t for the intense heat. If there are any tips I can give anyone for this trip it would be bring extra water, pay attention and lookout for snakes, know what to do if you are bitten by a snake, hike in very early, leave very early, bring a TON of bug spray and sunscreen. The waterfalls, the lakes, and the grandiose surrounding canyons are worth the trip out to Ancient Lakes!
For more info on the trail here is the link: