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 Post subject: Plaza Lake ramble last month (7/2/17)
 Post Posted: August 7th, 2017, 4:16 pm 
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Joined: October 21st, 2015, 8:08 am
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After miah66 and I put in some uphill effort (560') to haul some rafts out of Plaza Lake (https://www.oregonhikers.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=24621) last summer, I wanted to enjoy the rewards of swimming a pristine lake on a summer day. An old friend and I set out on this year's (2017) Fourth of July weekend for a nice wilderness ramble to the lake.

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From the Fanton Creek trailhead through the forest up to 4x4 road beneath Tumala's summit, there were lots of blooming avalanche lilies, valerian, and a few bog orchids. Tumala's rock garden was equally appealing, with different rocky species.

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Then back down, down, down toward Twin Springs to the rocky slope viewpoint...

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We then walked down the Abbott Rd. toward the SE side of the Plaza, disturbing a mama grouse and little chicks along the way. The walk down to the lake was full of beargrass and nice old growth. The swimming was wonderful and warm among the newts. We even got some close up flybys by the resident swallows as we swam laps. Some various angles of the lake:

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Then it was back on the rollercoaster (mostly uphill) back to the Fanton trailhead. Luckily the uphill sections are punctuated with rock gardens and little viewpoints.

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Wildcat, St. Helents, Rainier, & Huckleberry:

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A prolific rock garden near the steepest part:

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Though there is lots of up, down, up down, this hike has it all when it comes to subalpine wonders. The glaciers did some good work!


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 Post subject: Re: Plaza Lake ramble last month (7/2/17)
 Post Posted: August 9th, 2017, 12:18 pm 
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Joined: August 1st, 2011, 7:51 am
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Location: SW Portland
Nice a approach to Plaza Lake (well, you also avoided driving Abbot Road). I haven't been up there when there are so many wildflowers. Thanks for the report.


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 Post subject: Re: Plaza Lake ramble last month (7/2/17)
 Post Posted: August 10th, 2017, 12:20 pm 
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Awesome! I visited Soda Peaks lake a few weeks ago and both the hike and the lake reminded me of our trip to Plaza Lake.

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 Post subject: Re: Plaza Lake ramble last month (7/2/17)
 Post Posted: August 13th, 2017, 1:48 pm 
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Bobcat - I only wished the rhodies were in flower, as there are so many around the lake. But the flowers that were blooming made the long approach worth it (and I just love paved roads). On an unrelated note, I believe it was a trip report of yours from a few years ago that inspired my interest in Plaza Lake.

Miah66 - Cool! I'll have to check it out.. I've read a few reports here and there about Soda Peaks area, it seems like another one of those lakes that is rather far West in the Cascades compared to other lakes. I do love the anomalies like that.


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