Oak trees and meadow at Joseph Stewart State Park

Oak trees and meadow at Joseph Stewart State Park
Oak trees and meadow at Joseph Stewart State Park

Monday, September 1, 2014

High Lakes Trail to Fish Lake

It's the Labor Day weekend and what better thing to do than labor on a trail.

Our first stop on this holiday weekend was a trip back to the Cathedral Hills Trails in Grants Pass.  We hiked the same trails as noted on our March blog posting plus a few new ones. Of course all of the spring flowers are now gone.  Rather than do a posting on that hike and bore you with pictures of brown plants, brown trees and the brown trail, we recommend you go back in time and see the flowers from that March hike with us.

When we recently hiked the Brown Mountain Lava Flow trail, we met another hiker who was just starting out on the trail and found through our conversation that he was hiking down to Fish Lake via the High Lakes Trail, eating lunch at the lake, and then returning to the Summit Sno Park parking area.  That sounded like a nice hike for us in the future and sure enough, the future is now.


In addition to our dog Katie, our sister Karen joined us for this relatively easy 5.6 mile hike.  From the Summit Sno Park parking area we hiked the access trail to the PCT and then hiked the PCT across highway 140 to it's intersection with the High Lakes Trail.

The High Lakes Trail from here to Fish Lake is just 2 miles.  The entire High Lakes Trails runs from Fish Lake to Lake of the Woods, and if you include the Fish Lake Trail and Great Meadow Trail at either end, the entire length is over 12 miles one-way.  The trail is for hiking and biking and today we came across a good number of bicyclists, including our auto mechanic Jason and his family.

View of the High Lakes Trail - nice and wide for hikers and bikers
The trail is well maintained, has a few ups and downs, and provides views of Mount McLoughlin and some of the Brown Mountain Lava Flows.

View of the Brown Mountain Lava Flow and Mt McLoughlin from the trail
After hiking a little over an hour, we arrived at Fish Lake and took a break to eat and drink and enjoy the quiet.


The lake itself is very low this year (see pictures below) and as a result there were not a lot of people around despite being a holiday.  Fish Lake, much like Lake of the Woods, does have cabins for rental which makes hiking or biking this trail an ideal activity when visiting or staying at either location.

Very low Fish Lake

Looking towards the boat launch and dock areas of the lake

After we finished our snacks and Katie took a dirt bath, we hiked back along the High Lakes Trail enjoying the views from the other direction.  Despite cool temps when we started, we were plenty warm by hikes' end and especially thankful for a car with air conditioning!

Katie after her "dirt" bath --- one dirty dog!
Having completed these last two hikes, we have now surpassed our previous personal best for hiking miles in a year -220 miles - and are currently at 228 miles.  Just 72 miles away from the big 300!  Hope you join us as we hike on through the last third of the year.

Trekking Together
Glenn and Carol

P.S.  Many times while hiking we take pictures of the sky with the tree tops as an outline.  On the High Lakes Trail hike Glenn took the following picture and after viewing it, we think the outline of trees forms a dog silhouette.....what do you think.  The two ears are at the top with the dog nose to the right. Are we losing our minds and seeing things???

It's a bird, it's a plane, no it's a dog????