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Echo Lake parking and Lily Lake trail condition

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Echo Lake parking and Lily Lake trail condition

Postby hikerduane » Sat Sep 06, 2008 8:39 pm

I have never used the Echo Lake TH in the summer before and was wondering if you have to park in the SnowPark or can you drive to Lower Echo and park by the lodge/marina? How late does the ferry run and what is the cost now?

I haven't been up what I call the Lily Lake trail, the one that goes under Angora Peak and over to Triangle Lake and to the other lakes like Tamarack and Upper Echo Lake. The FS calls it the Glen Alpine Springs TH still, but to me, different trail. I guess they are going by the parking area, but I would be parking off the side of the road before you get to the TH parking, if I go up the trail below Angora Peak. I was wondering if anyone has been up that trail in the last few years? I had heard it took a beating from Mother Nature a few years back. I have been up the trail a couple times, it only takes an hour to "top out". I was wanting to go to Lake of The Woods this coming weekend for a Friday and Saturday night trip. For something to do on Saturday, I would hike over to Lucille possibly and on to Lost and Triangle lakes or stay at Triangle Lake, hike to Lost Lake, then try to kill the rest of the day.:( I haven't been camping at Lk of the Wds for about 5-6 years.
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Re: Echo Lake parking and Lily Lake trail condition

Postby windknot » Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:56 pm

I too am also interested to see if anyone's been on the Lily Lake trail recently. On a semi-related note, has anyone taken the Mid Tallac Trail also starting from Lily Lake and can report on conditions/difficulty?

Matt
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Re: Echo Lake parking and Lily Lake trail condition

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:10 pm

windknot wrote:I too am also interested to see if anyone's been on the Lily Lake trail recently. On a semi-related note, has anyone taken the Mid Tallac Trail also starting from Lily Lake and can report on conditions/difficulty?
Matt

What is the "mid Tallac trail"? Is this the one that Jerry and I call the direct Gilmore route? I can't think of any other route to Tallac that would start near Lily Lake. "Gilmore direct" is a marvelous route that is best described in Robert Woods' old Desolation Wilderness book (out of print but worth trying to chase down a copy for folks who enjoy the Desolation area). In any case this "direct" route has never been officially maintained and, unlike the route up the other side (to the vicinity of Triangle L.) is not shown on maps. It is a ducked route that leaves the little paved, then dirt, road that leads up, then down from the upper tiers of the Glen Alpine trailhead parking lot. I last took this route in 2004 (backpacked up it) and it was in good shape. Apparently some of the cabin owners along Fallen Leaf Lake pitch in and maintain this trail (biggest maintenance task is trimming back the brush). Taking this route can shave a half hour or so off the hike to Gilmore, and it is a much more scenic hike. The key is finding the beginning of it from either end (Gilmore or Glen Alpine). Once on it, it is easy to follow. It is a nicely developed trail except for a spot where the trail traverses a bedrock ledge (a good 2 to 3 feet wide) over a 15-foot drop off at the head of a chute. The route is still pretty obvious in this spot and the ledge is wide enough so that this is a class 2 and not a class 3 move.

Regarding the Echo TH, you can indeed drive the resort parking lot at the outlet of Lower Echo and take the ferry across. The only variable is when they stop running the ferry past the head of the lower lake--this happens sometime in fall when the water level drops low enough. As it gets deep into September it is a good idea to call the resort (don't have their number but the USFS will) and see if the ferry is running all the way to the head of the upper lake.

Regarding the Triangle trail kickoff point, it is indeed not exactly the same as the big Glen Alpine TH which is marked by a multi-tiered parking lot. The trail takes off from downstream of the parking lot. I don't recall whether the kickoff point is well marked because I've only descended it (as part of a loop the entered via Susie and Heather). I think the upper part of the trail will always be a bit of a goat trail at best because it is in a steep drainage, so any amount of runoff, even in a dry year, will tear it up. The lower part runs free of the water and should be pretty well preserved even through the harshest of seasons.

The Triangle trail and the "Gilmore direct" trails are my two favorite trails in Desolation owing to their steep, scenic character, and the fact they are the furthest thing from over-engineered.
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Echo Lake parking and Lily Lake trail condition

Postby windknot » Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:13 pm

Thanks for the update; your "Gilmore direct" route is indeed the same trail that Wood calls the Middle Tallac trail. On my next (first) visit to Gilmore I plan to take this route both because of its efficiency over the main Glen Alpine trail and because of the added excitement I figured it would provide. The Triangle trail (Tamarack Trail in Wood) looks appealing for similar reasons and I just may give it a try sometime.

Matt
Last edited by windknot on Mon Oct 31, 2011 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Echo Lake parking and Lily Lake trail condition

Postby hikerduane » Sun Sep 07, 2008 5:57 pm

Thank you gb. Sorry, not the trail to Gilmore Lake, although I have seen that trail up there all these years, never knew it was still used. I know the trail up the drainage below Angora, been up that way a couple times, just wanted to know if it took a big hit a few years ago from storms. With the shorter days now, I wanted the quickest way to Lake of the Woods if I do go there, as I work til 3:00PM and have the 45 minute drive to the FS office to get a permit, then drive to the TH and hike in before it gets dark a little after 7:30.
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Re: Echo Lake parking and Lily Lake trail condition

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Sep 07, 2008 8:03 pm

hikerduane wrote:Sorry, not the trail to Gilmore Lake, although I have seen that trail up there all these years, never knew it was still used. I know the trail up the drainage below Angora, been up that way a couple times, just wanted to know if it took a big hit a few years ago from storms. With the shorter days now, I wanted the quickest way to Lake of the Woods if I do go there, as I work til 3:00PM and have the 45 minute drive to the FS office to get a permit, then drive to the TH and hike in before it gets dark a little after 7:30.

Actually, my reference to the "Triangle trail" above or windknot's "Tamarack trail" refers to the steep trail from just downstream of the Glen Alpine parking lot (downstream of the bridge over the creek) to the saddle S. of Triangle L. I think the upper part is such a mess anyway that a relatively heavy winter won't make much a difference. I last did it in the fall of '97 the winter of 96/97 featured some of the most wicked winter storms on record. Inspection of the topo map indicates that the distance between the ferry drop off point at Upper Echo L. and Lake of the Woods is significantly shorter than going from Glen Alpine via the steep trail, plus it has a lot less elevation gain. Even if the driving time is less to the Glen Alpine kickoff point, I think the time difference is made up for by the hiking time differential. This is provided you can assure yourself of an efficient departure with the ferry (see above).
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Echo Lake parking and Lily Lake trail condition

Postby hikerduane » Mon Sep 08, 2008 2:33 am

Sorry, you did mention the trail I want to take in the last paragraph. I did learn from here about a trail still existing going up to Gilmore. Thank you. I know about the need for a efficient trail, although, I make good time going up out of Glen Alpine Springs TH by Lily Lake. Unlike the Echo Lake trail in though, I can jog part of the trail once I top out. I'll give the FS a call this week for more info on the ferry.
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Re: Echo Lake parking and Lily Lake trail condition

Postby hikerduane » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:30 pm

I called the FS yesterday, the ferry over Echo Lakes only runs thru Labor Day. Since the trail by Lily Lake, which goes under Angora Peak is unmaintained, they had no info for me. I'll have to brave the trail there I guess. I'm sure if it was totally impassable or too dangerous they would know. Another nice weekend it looks like, warming a little by Friday. After spending so much time working on my place and yard the last month, time for some r & r.:)
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Re: Echo Lake parking and Lily Lake trail condition

Postby windknot » Tue Sep 09, 2008 7:42 pm

Hope you have a nice trip! Please report on the status of that trail when you get back.

Matt
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Re: Echo Lake parking and Lily Lake trail condition

Postby hikerduane » Wed Sep 10, 2008 5:34 pm

Can do.
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Re: Echo Lake parking and Lily Lake trail condition

Postby hikerduane » Sun Sep 14, 2008 5:28 pm

The trail was in great shape, some pruning here and there this summer. Made it from my car to Lake of the Woods in around two hours. Left around 5:00 PM, made camp, fixed dinner and was eating before dark. Parking at the TH was full. Only parking was along the road, but that was no problem to me, as I parked just below the trail in the shade.
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