Thursday, September 15, 2011

Washington Lake


We finally gathered the gear needed to go camping, and planned a trip. We had originally intended on camping at Trial Lake, but it is already closed for the season! (funny as it only opened about a month or so ago.) So we camped at nearby Washington Lake with is east of Kamas, along the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway.


Jordanelle. Not a boat in sight. How strange.


Random part of the Provo River.


View from our camp site. I believe that is Bald mountain on the left.

We were quickly losing light, but the Provo River Falls was only about 2 miles south, so I decided to go.


View of the upper falls.


Cascades below.


At the time I thought these were the lower falls, but they are actually the middle falls. As you can see it is getting dark, and I didn’t realize there was another set of falls below. No worries, as we returned here the next day.


Campfire lit trees, with campfires in the distance.

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I really like fire-lit tree’s. Nice warm colors against a cool sky.


I was trying to get a night shot! Seriously this is about 10 at night, but uh, I didn’t realize it was the full harvest moon this night. Looks almost like I took it at 6 am. Kind of cool though.


The following morning we decided to walk down and check out the lake we were camped near. In hindsight I kind of wish I had done that during the night and taken some night shots. Oh well, next time.


Different view of Bald Mountain.

After this we decided to see if we could get to the fishing spot we did a few years ago. The campground for Trial Lake was closed, but fishing here was not.


Trial Lake.

Now we were here to fish, but really we were here because a few years back we camped here with some old friends and found this cute little pond that I thought was just beautiful. I didn’t have my camera that trip so I wanted to return with it. Now years ago, I remember we had a difficult time finding the trail. I remembered wandering around, until I in this weird way, having never been here before found it like a tracker. But when we hiked back down, it lead right to the road of the campground. So, I thought we’d be smart and find it that way.


Pretty meadow.

After this we found a small trail. We hiked it up a little ways until we realized it kind of, fizzled out. Not wanting to get lost this deep in the woods we decided to turn back. So ok, we will try what we did last year, and if that fails, well then we will just fish at the lake.


Cool dry river bed.


Success! we found them! This is the first, smallest pond. You can see the water ripple from a recent fish jump.

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Here is the 2nd, just a little bit bigger.


And the 3rd which I discovered is called Diamond Lake. Both times I have been here I have not encountered a single soul. In fact, last time we were here I was the only one to wander this far, our friends stayed at the first pond, Landis stopped at the 2nd, and I got half way around this one before I got this weird “You’re alone in the woods” feeling which made me want to return to the group.

Anyway, we spent some time fishing. I secretly hoped for a repeat of the conditions from last time (it started raining, and we ended up walking down the mountain in a drenching rain). Well, not the 2nd part. Because the lily covered ponds were just amazing in the rain.

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I got what I asked for. It was light at first, started to get heavy enough to put on the ponchos we were smart enough to bring along, but quickly subdued again. (yay! no walking down a mountain in the pouring rain!)

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As close as I could get to a lily without falling in.


I am still amazed that what I saw last time, the exact same conditions that brought me back 3 or 4 years later, were replicated almost exactly, and I got what I wanted. What are the odds?


We made it down the mountain with just a slight drizzle. Got my perfectly replicated conditions to get my picture, without the miserable hike down.


I have found that some scenes are much more interesting with an interesting foreground.

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Random hawk.


Fun old trunk. Lake Trial is a reservoir, and apparently can be quite a bit deeper which killed quite a few tree’s.

As soon as we got to the car it started raining buckets. Even with the rain, we decided to drive to the Crystal Lake trail head. We found about 6 different hikes condensed here, and one day plan to do them all, but this weather is probably not the time to do it. Next time.

We then drove back down to the Provo River Falls area.


The upper falls


The middle falls.


And the lower falls.


This view shows a little bit more of the upper falls. I really enjoy this area. It is right off of the main road, and offers a lot of pretty views with less than 10 minutes of walking/climbing. Again, we got to the car and it started raining pretty hard again. We are having pretty decent luck with the weather today.


Slate gorge. Not particularly astounding, but it is a gorge, and that does appear to be slate down there.

I wanted to explore some more, particularly since we had to pay $6.00 for an area use pass in addition to our fee for the camp site, but it was time we started to head towards home. I am doing some more investigating and finding new places to explore in the area, and definitely plan on returning to the area soon. Maybe not before the year is out, but definitely before the end on the season next year. It is absolutely gorgeous! This area, is what I would call Utah’s Yellowstone. Beautiful forests, with lots of things to see and do. I am very happy we finally got out to do this.

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