<< Barbara Teufert Update

09/14/07 - Deer Lake and Potholes

Most tourists stop at Sol Duc Falls which is a pleasant mile from the end of Sol Duc Road. We will admit that the falls are spectacular, especially set as they are in the lush green forest of the Northwest. Wem on the other hand, continued across the bridge and up into the high country towards Deer Lake. The trail is rocky and muddy. If nothing else our feet get all banged up as we climb. The trail rises and leaves the main Sol Duc valley and into a side canyon. Since there are trees all around, this is rather subtle. You have to catch glimpses of more distant mountains to realize what is happening and why the air grows still.

There is a little bridge across the side stream that flows from Deer Lake to the Sol Duc, then the trail begins to climb in earnest alternating between flat areas and staircase like climbs. The lake is about 1600' above the falls, but the effort is worth it. Deer Lake is a jewel in the mountains.

We were energetic today, so climbed higher. Rather than walking around the lake the way we usually do, we took the side trail to the Seven Lakes Basin and climbed towards the potholes. This trail follows the side of a mountain past several little ponds, but eventually it turns inward and through a grove of blueberries, still surprisingly full of ripe berries, and then up to the barren open area of the potholes.

This is a relatively bare flat area with a number of small ponds sparkling and reflecting the sky. We ate our tongue sandwiches here keeping a wary eye out for bears. There were bears in the high country according to several campers we met, but they were another six miles down the trail which was close enough for us.

The descent was lovely. The feeling of accomplishment was glorious. The pounding of our feet by the rocky trail painful.

One of the potholesClick here for more info

Another pothole, still full of water, but you can see the rocky lake bed

Some early autumn color

A great looking mushroom - yes, we are obsessed

A curtain of drips, click for the movie

Keywords: autumn, deer lake, high country, sol duc