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result of sudden snowmelt or heavy rains in the high country of Sawtooth Ridge. This hazard is a result of the burning of the forest and groundcover vegetation in the fires. A mid-May mudflow in 2011 washed out a section of trail at Meadow Creek, and now requires hikers to detour down a steep, forested hillside to find a creek crossing. The Lakeshore Trail crosses nearly


a dozen major creeks. Several major crossings may not have bridges. Experienced hikers know to always use caution when crossing un-bridged creeks, especially during spring and other times of high runoff! Of course it is always wise to check ahead for current trail conditions. Lakeshore Trail reports and more information can be found on the North Cascades National Park website www.nps.gov/noca. Many of the seasonal creeks that


descend from mountainsides of Sawtooth Ridge are running in the spring. After traversing a sun-dried hillside, the trail will often swing around the corner of a canyon to enter a verdant oasis where a rushing stream, a breeze and shade provide the welcome opportunity for thirsty hikers to fill up on water. These places are also an ideal habitat for plants, such as dogwood trees, blue vine clematis and tiger lilies. Backpackers will find good campsites


at Prince Creek, Cascade Creek (6 miles), Moore Point and in the vicinity of the Flick Creek Shelter (13 ½ miles). A couple of passable campsites can be found near the Meadow Creek Shelter (7 miles). A favorite camp is located near the lakeshore at Moore Point, which is reached by a side trail from the intersection just south of the Fish Creek Bridge (10 ½ miles from Prince Creek). The detour to Moore Point adds a half mile each way and 300 feet elevation gain on the return. Other campsites can be found along the trail if one is looking, including some great “dry” camps. The Lakeshore Trail climbs and


descends numerous times along its length to avoid rock cliffs. Its overall elevation gain might total about two thousand feet. The trail’s highest elevation, 1,700 feet, is reached at about the 9½ mile point. Just 1½ miles beyond Fish Creek, hikers are rewarded with outstanding views of Lake Chelan from Hunt’s Bluff. Day hikers can enjoy the northern portion of the Lakeshore trail from


Paintbrush and penstemon, Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, Washington, May 2011


Stehekin. It is also possible to day hike the seven miles from Moore Point to Stehekin if arrangements can be made to have your overnight baggage or gear dropped off at Stehekin. Backpacking has benefits that are paid for


in sweat. Along the Lakeshore Trail, these include watching the sun set over the North Cascades in the evening. Sleeping beside the lake, where one can be lulled to sleep by the sounds of waves lapping against the shore, the whispering of pines blowing in the


wind and distant rushing sound of streams running full of snowmelt. At Lake Chelan, backpackers may be awakened on a spring morning by the singing of birds, including the robin and varied thrush, or possibly the haunting call of a common loon.


John Latta photographs and writes about the beautiful outdoors


in each issue of Spokane


Coeur d’Alene Living. To see more of John’s photography or purchase a print of a photo in this article, visit his website www.lattaphoto.com.


www.spokanecda.com 47


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