July 7, 2013

A short yet scenic hike into Firecamp Lakes

All but the top of Mt. Jefferson along the trail to Crown Lake
It was time to go back to the Mt. Jefferson Wilderness, having not entered the area since either the B&B fire of 2003 or the Puzzle fire in 2006. Both fires combined to burn 47,000 of the 105,000 acres that make up the wilderness area.

Blooming Beargrass along the trail
Entering the wilderness from the Northwest, where the Firecamp Lakes lie, there is no indication of the fires that devastated much of the wilderness. Instead, healthy conifers and blooming bear grass greeted me in late June on my way into the lakes.

Crown Lake
Firecamp Lakes are made up of Crown and Claggett Lakes and an unknown, much smaller pond.

Mt. Jefferson rises above Crown Lake
The hike to Crown Lake begins in an old clearcut, where thick Beargrass was in full bloom. The trail climbs steeply from the outset through much of the clearcut and then settles into a much easier grade as it enters the more established forest.

Crown Lake
Crown Lake lies only about a mile from the trailhead. The trail, prior to dropping into the lake’s basin, provides nice views of Mt. Jefferson above the ridge standing over the lake’s basin. Plenty of mosquitoes were there to greet me at the lake, expected but always unwelcome.