Escondido Lake and Pete Lake Loop
I’ve wanted to do this loop for a long time and I finally got around to it this week. It starts at Cooper Lake, goes to Pete Lake, up near Waptus Pass and Escondido Lake, then to the PCT and back down to Pete Lake. I’m not sure of the mileage but it was a long way and beautiful!
I was lucky and didn’t get attacked by mosquitos or other biting bugs the cascades are notorious for. I didn’t even get rained on, yet another notorious trait! I had the place to my self once leaving Pete Lake and didn’t see anyone until I returned to Pete Lake again. It was so nice to hike miles of trail alone and uninterrupted. Just Logan and I:)
The main event this weekend was the camping at Escondido Lake. I was sitting by the fire after dinner and had just watched it go out as the sky darkened. I looked out into the meadow and remember thinking, “Huh, that looks like a small buffalo!” In about 1/2 second, my adrenaline hit my brain and I realized that thing was a bear! It was no more than 100 yards away and grazing with his head down. It didn’t see me yet or know of my presence. I slowly put Logan on a leash and grabbed the largest thing I could find, my metal tripod. It wasn’t much, but better than nothing. After a minute, I’d determined the bear was alone and without cubs so instead of backing away, I made my presence known. This worked as big papa bolted off across the meadow.
By this time my heart was pounding and my legs were shaking. Logan didn’t see the bear but she could tell something was up. After a few minutes, I decided to stay camped in the same spot and not attempt to hike 2 miles further in the dark with a startled bear in the area. I moved my food, hung it high and built a large fire. I went to bed more nervous than ever!
A long hike followed the next day and the photos sum it up well. I’d only add that I cant wait to do this hike again in clear weather! The views are amazing! Enjoy the photos.