Last week during the heatwave we decided to escape to Barclay Lake, a hike my husband had wanted to take every time we crossed the Cascades.
We turned off Highway 2 at Baring onto a one lane road full of potholes, making for a bumpy but beautiful ride four miles to the trailhead.
The trail started at 2,200 feet and mostly followed along Barclay Creek gaining less than 500 ft. (my kind of hike.)
The forest was cool and fragrant and there were plenty of native plants to admire, including baby ferns unfurling,
There was also the sinister sounding Devil’s Club or Devil’s Walking Stick (haha) with needlelike spines on its stalk and leaves. I was intrigued to learn it’s been used medicinally for hundreds of years. No not for acupuncture. Harvested stems, leaves, stalks and berries are made into teas, tinctures, salves and ointments.
There was fungus growing everywhere too,
including the one below which looked like a hamburger.
“Look Bob! Someone left us lunch!”
We crossed Barclay Creek and made the final trek to the lake.
We soon encountered the only rough part of the trail – a small avalanche field of packed snow covered with fallen trees and dirt.
We managed easily and the payoff was great – a crystal clear alpine lake with craggy Mt. Baring rising to 6,127 ft. behind.
After lunch we headed back and stopped to cool off in Barclay Creek. We could only handle the ice cold water for a few seconds at a time but it was refreshing!
As we neared the end of the trail we enjoyed views of waterfalls high on the mountains across the valley.
Four and a half miles round trip through the forest. With mountains, creek, alpine lake, and waterfalls.
What more do you want in a hike?