November 19, 2012

Landfill at Fish Lake shocks, angers

Calvin "The Wonder Dog" at Lower Lake

From the edge of the Olallie Lake Scenic Area, hikers can begin near the end of road 120 on a trail leading to a string of lakes within the scenic area. Unfortunately, negative human elements and nature can clash, which was the case when I hiked the path, known as the Fish Lake Trail. This hike is only 2.8 miles long, but filled with great scenery, especially if you enjoy lakeside views of the surroundings.

The first waters the trail leads to is Si Lake, located only a short distance from the trailhead. This lakes is surrounded by firs and hemlocks; small, only 14 acres; and quite shallow with a depth of only 12 feet.

Beyond Si Lake, a short side trail leads to long and skinny Surprise Lake, which lies at an elevation of 4,390 feet.

From here, the lakes are larger. The first of these is Fish Lake, which is 40 acres and a maximum depth of 60 feet. This is where I saw the aftermath of people who obviously had mistaken a lakeside camp spot for a landfill. Beer cans, a cake pan, tin foil and a water jug had been scattered about the campsite. In addition, used toilet paper dotted the site. They were actually taking a dump in their own campsite! In the fire pit, garbage, including a broken camp chair and plastic food containers were stacked three feet high. At the time, this lake was obviously too easy to get to. Obviously, the pigs had entered the area on a four-wheel drive road that led to the lake at the time. It amazed me how someone could have such disregard for the area.

Switchbacks lead out of Fish Lake’s basin and the trail crosses a flat forest stretch to Lower Lake. Lower lake is the deepest of this string of lakes (73 feet) but smaller (about half the size) of Fish Lake.