Rainy/North/Bear Lakes + Mt. Defiance 07-July-2010

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VanMarmot
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Rainy/North/Bear Lakes + Mt. Defiance 07-July-2010

Post by VanMarmot » July 7th, 2010, 6:50 pm

Did something a little different today – was after scenery more so than mileage or gain. So I drove to the Rainy Lake TH – 10 miles of pretty good gravel/dirt road out of Hood River. After the road becomes dirt, signage is non-existent – just turn left at the only real T-junction and look for two huge logs on either side of a spur road – that spur goes to the Rainy Lake TH. Once at the TH, it was a very short hike on Tr 423A to the lake, with Green Point Mountain as a backdrop,

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and some great reflections in the wonderfully clear water.

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I then took Tr 423 over to North Lake, which I had last seen in March. Things were different now.

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Another nice little lake with clear waters and interesting reflections.

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From North, I followed Tr 411 almost back to the road but then took Tr 413 toward Mt. Defiance. In less than ½ mile, Tr 413C (no sign) branches off to Bear Lake. I’d seen this lake more than a few times from the Mt. Defiance trail,

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but this is the first time I made an effort to actually visit it. Another nice little pocket lake,

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with a view up a seemingly endless scree/boulder slope toward Mt. Defiance.

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I backtracked from Bear Lake and headed up to Defiance for lunch with a view. Once again, the view was all about Mt. Hood.

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From Defiance, I head back to the car at Rainy Lake. This was a short hike – 7.8 mi and about 1800’ gain – but getting to visit all three of these beautiful little lakes and Mt. Defiance more than compensated for distance & gain. It was breezy most of the day and temperatures seemed mild (at ~4000’), but I could tell by the amount of water I was gulping that it was warmer than it seemed. This became evident when I dropped down to Hood River and the thermometer went into the high 90’s.

cjwillson
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Re: Rainy/North/Bear Lakes + Mt. Defiance 07-July-2010

Post by cjwillson » July 7th, 2010, 7:30 pm

I was considering heading that way this weekend to camp. Any horrible mosquitos at North Lake? (Don't mind a few bugs but don't feel like donning a head net.) ; )

Thanks!

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AlexanderSupertramp
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Re: Rainy/North/Bear Lakes + Mt. Defiance 07-July-2010

Post by AlexanderSupertramp » July 7th, 2010, 7:34 pm

What a great loop, I haven't been to any of those lakes. It certainly looks like a trip worth doing when the weather is just a touch cooler :-)

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Splintercat
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Re: Rainy/North/Bear Lakes + Mt. Defiance 07-July-2010

Post by Splintercat » July 7th, 2010, 8:52 pm

I came pretty close to running into you up there, Van! I supposedly had the entire day for a hike, and was going to do the Rainy/North/Green Point loop (for the Field Guide, actually), but didn't get out of the house until nearly 1:30 -- so I did a short hike from Top Spur. Same question from me: how were the bugs? I was thinking the wind would be a blessing for that very reason, but it was surprisingly still in many areas around Lolo Pass, howling in others. Weird weather... and too damned hot!

Tom :lol:

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Splintercat
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Re: Rainy/North/Bear Lakes + Mt. Defiance 07-July-2010

Post by Splintercat » July 7th, 2010, 8:52 pm

...oh, and very nice lake photos, by the way! :D

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mayhem
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Re: Rainy/North/Bear Lakes + Mt. Defiance 07-July-2010

Post by mayhem » July 7th, 2010, 10:12 pm

Crazy! I ran into someone near Tunnel falls coming from camping at Rainy lake on 7/5/10....Man i really need to find these lakes :)
Thanks for sharing.
Shoe Shine Boy Has Left The Building!

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VanMarmot
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Re: Rainy/North/Bear Lakes + Mt. Defiance 07-July-2010

Post by VanMarmot » July 8th, 2010, 5:30 am

cjwillson wrote:I was considering heading that way this weekend to camp. Any horrible mosquitos at North Lake? (Don't mind a few bugs but don't feel like donning a head net.) ; )

Thanks!
Surprisingly, there seemed to be very few mosquitos at any of the lakes - at least I wasn't swarmed by many when I stopped for photos.

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VanMarmot
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Re: Rainy/North/Bear Lakes + Mt. Defiance 07-July-2010

Post by VanMarmot » July 8th, 2010, 5:34 am

Splintercat wrote:I came pretty close to running into you up there, Van! I supposedly had the entire day for a hike, and was going to do the Rainy/North/Green Point loop (for the Field Guide, actually), but didn't get out of the house until nearly 1:30 -- so I did a short hike from Top Spur. Same question from me: how were the bugs? I was thinking the wind would be a blessing for that very reason, but it was surprisingly still in many areas around Lolo Pass, howling in others. Weird weather... and too damned hot!

Tom :lol:
Surprisingly few flying bugs and not many (if any) mosquitoes - nothing like it was 2 weeks ago along the Moffett Trail. Even down in the trees and around the lakes I wasn't troubled at all by bugs. There was a good breeze blowing along the ridge up to Defiance (and on top) which kept all the bugs away & cooled things down a lot. Still it was a hot day & I ran through what I thought was a generous water supply pretty quickly.

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Don Nelsen
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Re: Rainy/North/Bear Lakes + Mt. Defiance 07-July-2010

Post by Don Nelsen » July 8th, 2010, 9:02 pm

Wow, this area has suddenly become much more popular! I was up there six times in the past month logging GPS data - thanks to mayhem's question about a route from Defiance to Wahtum (thank you very much for the incentive, mayhem).

Great pics and report, VanMarmot!

BTW, in six hikes and over seventy miles I never saw even one mosquito and I circled Bear, North and Rainy as far as I could. Lucky me!

Don
"Everything works in the planning stage".

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Paul
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Re: Rainy/North/Bear Lakes + Mt. Defiance 07-July-2010

Post by Paul » July 10th, 2010, 6:30 pm

Nice! This is usually a JUne hike for me, what crazy snow levels!

Never been to Bear lake, are there any campsites there?
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."
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