turquoise (defn): The colour of the water in Colchuck lake
With that introduction, let us begin. This is the most rewarding hike. It is a little strenous. There is no stream to provide the soundtrack ala Surprise Lake. The elevation gain is steep and comes over boulders. There are bugs. However, at the end you get the most pristine turquoise waters in the world. Also, pack a swimsuit, it’s deliciously cold water, incredible for swimming.
After a 3.8 mile drive on a road with no Macadam the “Welcome to the trailhead” is a very rewarding sight.
There is a Horse Ford. We did not go here.
We did walk to the stream. In theory, a stream like that should be teeming with aquatic life. In practice, fishies were hard to spot.
We crossed a bridge
Over a stream that gurgles and mumbles as it flows under
With lilac flowers, their petals spread wide scattered along the way
As hikes go, this isn’t the most enjoyable – see those boulders, they are, not to put too fine a point on it, impolite to your knees. Snacking on cherries, we were led on.
Almost there …
It is trickier than it looks
There are parts of the hike with shade and trees and a level walking trail
And you sometimes get glimpses of natural beauty, peaks rising high
You are in the Pacific Northwest after all – there are majestic views everywhere
Not much farther to go. 5,000 feet is pretty high up. It’s gruelling to get here.
When you see those waters, turquoise, through the trees for the first time, that ache in the knees, that slight niggle that you’ve developed in your right calf muscle just goes away.
Spend time here, eat, drink, swim and relax.
While some of us ambled down, the rest of us rushed ahead
to build a bridge across a stream with granite
under the purview of the stone guardians of Colchuck