On a whim, I decided to hike around Timothy Lake by myself one Sunday. It was the first Sunday in September. It was absolutely lovely. The previous summer, my sister, her husband and I accidentally hiked around Timothy Lake, and we got horribly lost and ended up hiking about 17 miles with no food or water. At the end we were also in the dark and we had no light source. It was a silly misadventure. I was hoping to actually hike around the lake this time and to pinpoint where we had gone so horribly wrong the first time. I figured going in the opposite direction would remedy the situation. I was also feeling like I needed to hike long distances in preparation for my thru hike with Lacey Wroblewski this coming summer. I already mentioned it before, but it’s been awhile. I am hiking the John Muir Trail from Vermillion Valley to Mt. Whitney. I am scared and beyond excited for it, but not at all physically prepared.
Anyway, I decided that adding an extra mile or two was a good idea. I parked on the fire road, instead of in the park, which actually saves money if you don’t have a NW Forest Pass (which I do), but anyway, I hiked in on the PCT. Part of the trail around the lake is the PCT and that’s where I hit it. I headed counter-clockwise around the lake and only passed a few people here and there. In no time, things were looking familiar and beautiful. I went through the crazy North Arm which has water the most beautiful color of green and then I stopped for a snack. I even remember what I ate: freeze dried peas and curried cashews. Best. Snack. Ever. I took off my shoes and dipped my feet in the lake while ants attacked the log I was sitting on. It was so peaceful. Then I put my shoes back on and continued on my way.
The trail is well maintained and easy to follow. Unlike last time I hiked it, it is also well-signed. All of the signs are brand new and lovely. Those signs sure would have been nice when we hiked it the first time!!! Eventually I made it back to where our campsite was when we got lost and was able to see where everything went wrong last time. Honestly, the part we missed was the least exciting part. It just winds through the campgrounds…boring.
I made it back, almost missing a turn again, to the PCT and back to the car. I was really proud of myself for doing a 15 mile hike, but it is totally flat. Now I just needed to add some serious elevation.
Two weeks after I hiked it by myself, I headed back up to Timothy Lake with my friend Ryan Goldberg. We parked kind of by the dam and did all the boring campground stuff first. We also ate Subway from Sandy at the lovely picnic tables before we even started. The hike was still awesome, even though I had just done it, despite my weird hip pain for the second half of it. When we finished up we changed into swimwear and jumped into the lake. It would have been a perfectly lovely day had the air not been too thick to breathe due to the fire raging near the Clackamas River. After our swim we enjoyed some great beers, thanks to Ryan being the best, and headed home.
Both hikes were fabulous. I can’t believe I didn’t know about Timothy Lake until I was 34 years old.
For information about Timothy Lake click here.