Mason Lake and Mount Defiance Hike
For this venture into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, I strongly suggest making it an overnight trip – two if you can swing it. The hike is certainly doable in one day, but the trail up to the top of Mount Defiance from Mason Lake is a bit of a haul and arguably much more enjoyable with fresh legs. And waking up next to an alpine lake is an unbeatable experience.
I spent two nights at Mason Lake with my brother and his girlfriend in mid-June. We headed out on the Ira Spring Trail on a Friday evening, with about 6 hours of daylight left. Plenty of time to take it slow up the trail if we needed, set up camp, and make dinner before it got dark. The trail up to Mason Lake starts out with a gradual grade on an old logging road. The road has narrowed considerably into what is now a wide and quite lovely trail. Early on, a brand new log bridge crosses a moderate-sized creek. (more…)
Denny Creek and Melakwa Lake Hike
Denny Creek Trail to Melakwa Lake is a really amazing hike. It can get busy, but the trail is long enough that it absorbs people pretty well. I went on a beautiful 80 degree Friday and the parking lot overflowed onto the street. However, I was alone on the trail for the majority of the hike and didn’t encounter any other hikers for a several mile stretch. One of my favorite aspects of the trail is the diversity of scenery and terrain. (more…)