Eagle Cap: Cached at Cached Lake

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Re: Eagle Cap: Cached at Cached Lake

Post by roninor » September 22nd, 2019, 5:11 pm

Little more on the Pop Lake Trail from Cached Lake. In 1960-64 I was on the trail crew that covered that area. One of our 10 day hitches was Main Eagle, Trail Creek, Echo/Traverse down to West Eagle Meadows. We covered the Bench Canyon and three lakes on the eastside of Main Eagle. Our favorite camp was probably Cached Lake and we usually found the time to head over to Pop Lake. We did spray paint a trace so folks could get over and looked hard for an old trail but we didn't find it. As far as I know there was never a trail established, at least that we could find. They were still "sheeping" those mountains then and there was a bit of a camp tender trail up from Cached Lake to the pass and that trail along the bench that goes to Pop Lake, we thought was a game trail.

Back then you could catch a fish almost everytime you threw a line out. Only problem was they were all head. So many in the lake they didn't have enough feed.

Incidentally we Scorpions out of Eugene/Springfield and Salamanders out of Salem had a trail crew "The Scorpamanders" on Main Eagle this past week. They endured rain, snow, frost, but got some work done and had a great time. Wonderful country.

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Re: Eagle Cap: Cached at Cached Lake

Post by BurnsideBob » September 23rd, 2019, 7:57 am


Thanks for weighing in on the history of Pop Lake, trail #1935. We seldom, if ever, walk where no one has gone before. Just think of all the lost, untold stories that could be told by those who've gone before us.

And a huge thanks to you and the Scorpamanders for keeping these trails open, both in the Eagle Cap and closer to home like Maxwell Butte. You guys didn't brush out the Bench Creek Trail by any chance??

When we went into Pop Lake we kept our eyes open for any signs of trail work. Like you we did not see any blazes, water bars, cut tree limbs, bucked logs, or your paint marks. Most of the country is pretty open and, between people, deer, and elk, there seems to be enough traffic to keep a trail tread visible. There are a couple small switchbacks and course locations which suggest human intervention, and there is the topographic map which shows the trail and names it #1935, which indicates district people marked up a draft topo with that info pre publication. Must say, tho, that the location as shown on the CalTopo map previously published on this board in a trip report is wildly inaccurate, so I'm not copying it.

For those up for the hike, the trail can be found and offers an evenly graded route into Pop Lake. Since writing the trip report, I've spoken to a horseman who said the segment from Pop Lake down to the Minam was passable by horse in the past although he personally hadn't ridden it. There was a visible, but faint, tread past Pop Lake, but I didn't follow it or take a photo. Here's some photos I did take which supplement the original trip report (click for a somewhat larger view):

Trail past linear meadow but before uphill turn.
This trail segment lies between the linear meadow and the turn up the slope shown in the original post. For those interested in Needlepoint, you would leave the trail after making the uphill turn. You would go up this drainage, gaining the low ridge on its east side, and then moving up and further east where the terrain is easiest. The trail to Pop Lake does become fainter here, reflecting that some of the people traffic leaves for Needlepoint.

Trail on the bench--skirts trees.
Trail appears to be located where snow melts off earlier in the season. A few short sections are quite eroded but most of it is like what you can see in this photo.

Past the dead trees ahead trail drops more steeply.
While the trail steepens, it is still pretty gentle. It does pass thru a couple rock outcrops and avoids the worst of the talus with a well defined tread so is probably the easiest, but not the only, way in.

Pop Lake from marshy area to its West.
It is possible to lose the trail in the marshy area. You can pick up the trail on the other side, or just drop thru the trees to the lake.

Trail as it passes Pop Lake's north shore.
The trail tread doesn't show well in this photo, but is to the left of the boulder.

Happy off(?) trails.

I keep making protein shakes but they always turn out like margaritas.

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