Ancient Lakes Trail 03/27/2021

Washington State Early Spring Hiking

Ancient Lakes - Quincy, Wa

Distance:     4.95 miles
Elevation Gain:     372
Activity:     Trail run/hike
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Ancient Lakes Watercolor - Christina DeubelAncient Lakes Watercolor Sketch

It was a glorious spring day to head out into the Washington desert and soak up a 70 degree day!  We got a bit of a late start, considering the 2.5 hour drive from Spokane, making it to the Ancient Lakes Trailhead around 1pm.  I've heard about this trail for years but hadn't previously made the journey to the center of the state to explore it.  That being said, I was SHOCKED by the number of cars at the trailhead.  Being from the east side of the state I'm not accustomed to packed trailheads.  Even with a million cars in the dusty lot, the trails were more spacious than I would have expected. 

Ancient Lake Sagebrush

I set out for a trail run, the scent of fresh sage filling the air, the giggling of children, the wagging of dog tails and smiles from the occasional passing hiker or mountain biker.

As I got closer to the lakes, tents began popping up left and right.  I have never seen so many backpackers all in one place, and yet... they all had plenty of space  to themselves.  I would be curious what it sounds like as the sun sets and the laughing of jolly campers echo across the canyon.

Ancient Lake Quincy WaHikers pass two separate lakes with large meadows for camping and fire pits in place.  The lakes are gorgeous, accessible and their appeared to be a large boulder to jump off of at the larger lake.

Ancient Lake Quincy Wa
The closer one gets to the waterfall the more rugged the trail gets. Once approaching the shore of the second lake, running was out of the question and I entered more of a scramble across the boulders and loose rock. I saw several people scramble up to the waterfall and have a heck of a time getting back down.

Ancient Lakes Waterfall
The waterfall is cool, crisp and misty, offering a nice opportunity to cool off before heading back.  I opted to loop around the lake and come back mostly on a separate trail before retracing our footsteps for the last mile.
This was a great hike that I would definitely do again, and perhaps even camp out at, however I personally would only go during the week.  The weekend was a bit to peoply for my liking.

What is the 365 Challenge?

365 ChallengeThis was also my first hike once signing up for the 365 Challenge.  For those that don't know, the goal of the challenge is to move 365 miles in 365 days.  Find out more HERE
365 Challenge - 4.95 miles = 360.05 miles to go 

3 comments

  • Thank you so much for the kind comments.
    The hike to the waterfall was right around 2 miles in although i did not clock that milestone exactly.

    Christina
  • Thanks for your amazing report! Is this the upper or lower trailhead take us to the waterfall? How far of hikes to the waterfall and see lake around?

    peony
  • Wow. What a special trip report. I love your positivity and the artwork is such an amazing way to capture the outing.

    Melissa

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