Short Backpacking to Lakes

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
stilts007
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Short Backpacking to Lakes

Post by stilts007 » May 12th, 2020, 6:47 am

I am looking for backpacking opportunities for me and my 4 kids ages 13 down to 7. During Covid, we'd love to get out into the wilderness. We have a couple of inflatable canoes and would love to find a short hike into a lake to pack those into and boat across to some wilderness camping. I know Alpine lakes are crazy with mosquitoes, so some options for early summer would be appreciated as well. We live in the Eugene/Springfield area and have a 12 passenger van. I know that's quite a few constraints, so you can see how it has been difficult for us to find places to go. Any suggestions are welcome.

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drm
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Re: Short Backpacking to Lakes

Post by drm » May 12th, 2020, 6:57 am

If you want to avoid mosquitoes, you have to go while the nights are still very cold. Any place with still water will get mosquitoes at some point after the snow melts and the water warms up. Or you have to go where the only water is fast-moving. Some canyons with fast-moving creeks never get bad mosquitoes, but that doesn't work for your kayaks.

justpeachy
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Re: Short Backpacking to Lakes

Post by justpeachy » May 12th, 2020, 11:08 am

Mosquitoes and lakes just go hand-in-hand in summer, so I'm not sure you'll be able to avoid them unless you get lucky.

Timothy Lake might be worth exploring. There are of course the really noisy developed campgrounds along the south shoreline, but I think I've heard that there are a number of undeveloped sites elsewhere around the shoreline.

Waldo Lake comes to mind, and it would be nice and quiet, but that area is mosquito HELL until autumn.

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retired jerry
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Re: Short Backpacking to Lakes

Post by retired jerry » May 12th, 2020, 11:19 am

burnt lake

AKA Gene's lake

Aimless
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Re: Short Backpacking to Lakes

Post by Aimless » May 12th, 2020, 11:29 am

Maybe try the Erma Bell Lakes, on the west side of Three Sisters wilderness, accessed off of Aufderheide Drive. Same disclaimer about mosquitos as for all the other lakes you might consider.

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teachpdx
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Re: Short Backpacking to Lakes

Post by teachpdx » May 12th, 2020, 12:20 pm

Boulder Lake is one of my favorites.

https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guide/Boulder_Lake

I would think the access will be snow free within the next few weeks. It's great early in the season and midweek, especially.

And, purely anecdotal, it seems slightly less mozzie-infested than other lakes.
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retired jerry
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Re: Short Backpacking to Lakes

Post by retired jerry » May 12th, 2020, 1:39 pm

either of the Matteiu lakes in Three Sisters near McKinsey Pass

justpeachy
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Re: Short Backpacking to Lakes

Post by justpeachy » May 12th, 2020, 1:40 pm

teachpdx wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 12:20 pm
Boulder Lake is one of my favorites.
Boulder Lake is very pretty but I've heard it can be loud and crowded on weekends.

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teachpdx
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Re: Short Backpacking to Lakes

Post by teachpdx » May 12th, 2020, 2:37 pm

justpeachy wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 1:40 pm
Boulder Lake is very pretty but I've heard it can be loud and crowded on weekends.
It definitely has its loud moments, but that's why I mentioned midweek or early season. Plus, I'm sure there will be no shortage of noise with four kids in tow!
I've been up there on an August weekend a couple of times, and it hasn't been too obnoxious... it at least quiets down in the evening. Any rowdy folks tend to congregate in the few spots right where the trail meets the lake, but there are a few other spots to the west and north to get some relative quiet.
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stilts007
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Re: Short Backpacking to Lakes

Post by stilts007 » May 12th, 2020, 8:01 pm

drm wrote:
May 12th, 2020, 6:57 am
If you want to avoid mosquitoes, you have to go while the nights are still very cold. Any place with still water will get mosquitoes at some point after the snow melts and the water warms up. Or you have to go where the only water is fast-moving. Some canyons with fast-moving creeks never get bad mosquitoes, but that doesn't work for your kayaks.
I'd love to explore some creek or river options too. We'll just leave the boats at home. I just love to be near the water. Any thoughts on where to start looking?

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