Twin Lakes - Frog Lake Buttes loop 9/22

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Twin Lakes - Frog Lake Buttes loop 9/22

Post by pdxgene » September 22nd, 2009, 8:05 pm

I met up with Jane out in Sandy this morning and after a quick stop at the Tollgate Bakery for goodies we were off to Mt Hood. The weather just couldn't have been any better. What a great first day of fall. We parked at the Frog Lake sno-park lot off of Highway 26 and took off on the PCT for the Twin Lakes junction. First stop, Lower Twin Lake..
This was just over 2 miles from the trailhead.. We took a break and then a lap around the trail that circles the lake. And then it was on to Upper Twin Lake which has a view of the top of Mt Hood..
The colors got brighter and brighter as we gained altitude. Some from around Upper Twin Lake at just under 4,400'..
Leaving the lake we headed back down to Lower Twin Lake to catch the 2 1/4 or so mile trail back up to Frog Lake Buttes. And we got an extra lap around the lake since I went in the wrong direction. It was steady climb on the Frog Lake Buttes trail but nice scenery and pretty well graded. Until the last 1/2 mile or so that seemingly went straight up. Mt Hood from a peek thru the trees at Frog Lakes Buttes, elevation about 5,270'...
Coming up the trail the sun and shadows made the colors hard to capture but up top everything was set up just right..
And just a bit after Fall began just after 230 with Jane in there..
A couple more as we began to head back down..
A look thru an opening in the trees at Mt Hood going back down the Frog Lake Buttes trail..
At the half mile mark we took the Frog Lake trail cutoff which would lead back down to Frog Lake and shortly after to where the car was parked. Another nice empty trail with views to the south of Mt Jefferson..
Down at the bottom Frog Lake provided a nice place to cool off in the water...
And a nice little reflection when I'd stand still for a minute..
We saw one other couple at Upper Twin Lake and one with their dogs at Lower Twin Lake on the way back. Other than that, from just before 10a until almost 430 we didn't see another soul.
The warm days and cool nights are making for some great colors , especially higher up. The lower angle of the sun makes them especially bright if you get lucky and time it right. Get out there if you can before a storm comes along and ruins it all. More pictures from just a really nice day at

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Re: Twin Lakes - Frog Lake Buttes loop 9/22

Post by Grannyhiker » September 22nd, 2009, 10:21 pm

Interesting that there appears to be a lot more color where you went than along the Vista Ridge Trail to WyEast Basin yesterday. I was prepared to take a lot of pictures, but the colors are just barely starting. This ash about 1/4 of the way up was the brightest foliage up there.

The other members of my party were taking so many pictures that except for this one shot, I didn't even get my camera out. They were two members of The Lightweight Backpacker forum,, one from Alberta, Canada and the other from Eugene. They plus two others hiked up Eagle Creek to Wahtum Lake and back over the weekend; I and another member joined them at Wahtum Lake Saturday.

The Canadian guy was particularly interested in being up on Mt. Hood because there are no volcanoes in his neck of the woods. He said the alpine country at the top of Vista Ridge was very similar to the Canadian Rockies, though.

I'll try the south side of Mt. Hood later this week!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.--E.Abbey

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Re: Twin Lakes - Frog Lake Buttes loop 9/22

Post by Jane » September 23rd, 2009, 8:55 pm

The colors are just burgeoning, but varied and pretty against the still bright greens. What a lovely day we had, and the wading in Frog Lake was a refreshing finito.

p.s LOTS of great camp spots along this route

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