Enos Lake Backpack

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I get to participate in a Beck family outing to Enos Lake.

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

Trips like this alway start at the beginning. So here we all are at the Duck Lake trailhead with clean bodies, organized equipment, heavy packs, and smiles (except Dave, for unknown reason...?).

By the way, you can get Mike's camo pants at Ridley's in McCall. He was invisible in the woods!

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We were on our feet at about 9, and Duck Lake before 10. Nice, cool morning and not a soul around. Trailhead

Then we left the official trail as we headed uphill toward Loon Summit (saddle). This fisherman's trail is actually in pretty good condition and mostly all cut out.

Duck Lake and Sawtooth Peak in the background.

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As we neared the summit, we were visited by a Forest Service plane. Several times. What's going on? Trailhead
Then he came back in lower....

Beck family at Loon Summit, minus Jill :-(

First climb done. Humdinger in the background.

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From Loon Summit, you get 'el photo grande' of what this trip is all about. On the left is North Loon, then South Loon. Looking down the Loon Creek drainage with Hee Lake in the center. On the far right, Hum 1.

As we neared Hee Lake, the trail deteriorated until it was fully missing. Yay, bushwacking!

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Ruby at Haw Lake, our third lake for the day, with South Loon in the background.

Note: it was, after all, Ruby Tuesday.

 

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From Haw Lake, an uphill bushwack takes you to the trail from Hum Lake to the North Fork of Lick Creek. This trail was cut out a couple years ago, but has some more recently fallen trees. But generally, this part of the trail is in great shape...despite Nicole's look of "I thought you said this trail had been cleared." Trailhead
The gang enjoys a (briefly) flatter portion of the trail. Trailhead
At the saddle that drops into the North Fork, you again leave a real trail for a make-believe one. I had been on this section back in 2014, so vaguely remembered where we needed to go. In general, over to the notch in the ridge on the right.
Should be no problem ;-)
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Yes, that's a trail. Payette style.

In the background, Hee Lake and Rain Peak.

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Dave near the saddle with Mike close behind.

Mike has been living in Houston, so in addition to being loaded like a horse he also was acclimated to 0 feet above sea level. But he toughed it out to here, approximately 8800'.

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Proud Dad with his kids. It's all downhill from here to the lake. Trailhead
There's the lake right there. Trailhead
And there's the downhill. Yikes! Trailhead
Camp. The sun was gone, but we were still happy to have that done. Libations ensued. Trailhead

Map

7.9 miles, 3263' gain, 8:14 car-to-lake

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Wednesday morning, Dave, Nicole, and I were off to try Enos Peak. We hiked back up the trail a bit, then took off cross-country. Trailhead

There's a really neat basin above the trail. We first went to a low spot in the ridge top seen mid-photo, but discovered the back side of the ridge to seem a bit, ummm, challenging. So going for Option B, we easily traversed this fun hillside.

Somewhere in here we found an old tennis shoe. Just one. As to how it got there, you can make up your own story.

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After our traverse, we climbed some very steep terrain through trees, over bear grass, and around big blocks of granite. When we got to the top of the ridge again, we were near the summit but our path was blocked. Crossing back over the spine of the ridge still again, we found a ledge that brought us around to here. Brrr. Miss that sunshine.

A little light Class IV, please.

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Class IV done, Nicole marvels at how good that sunshine feels. Dave is right behind.

This is where, referring to her father's somewhat puzzling interest in peak-bagging, Nicole declared, "I get it now."

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Summit shot.

Pano below featuring Hum Ridge including Hum 4 and Hum 5 and all sorts of other Lick Creek gems.

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This peak had some awesome views, especially in the early light. On the left, that's South Loon and North loon on the right. The big lake is Enos, with two of its feeder lakes above.

We could see Mike at our campsite on the lake, basking in the sun. A few hollers and whistles, and he was waving back.

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Then it was a careful descent of the steep hillside and the new Best Friends were back at camp. Trailhead

Map

1.5 miles, 1119' gain, 3:15 camp-to-camp

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Back at camp, we had lunch and aired out our feet. Then Dave and I headed out for our next peak while Mike and Nicole did some local sight-seeing. This is Dave at the lower Enos Lake. Trailhead
I forgot to mention how good the fishing was at Enos Lake. So to rectify that, here's one in the lower lake. 12-14 inches. They were all over. Trailhead
But we weren't fishing; we were climbing a peak. So it wasn't long before we were high on the ridge over Jungle Lake, looking back at Enos. The shaded peak on the left was this morning's effort. South Loon just right of it, and North Loon the the far right. Trailhead
Looking to the east, we were surprised to see all this smoke. It appears they were doing (un)controlled burns near Williams Peak. Trailhead

Summit of Enos Envy.

We took a few shortcuts and were back for libations just after the sun had left our campsite.

Mike and Nicole were on the other side of the lake. They had hiked to one of the upper Enos lakes, and were now basking in the sun next to the waterfall. When Ruby realized where her new BFF was, she ran around at full sprint. Nicole said they were counting mere seconds before the pup arrived.

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4.4 miles, 1814' gain, 3:35 camp-to-camp Trailhead

Thursday.

Today was going to be a big day, so Dave and I got going at O-dark-thirty. Here it's not quite light but we have already hiked past the two upper Enos Lakes and are now looking across at South Loon.

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We plugged away at a fairly horrendous pace and beat the sun to the summit. Note the smoke laying in the South Fork canyon.

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Fortunately for us, Hum Ridge was blocking the smoke from getting into our valley. But pretty much everywhere else, it was smoke-hazy.

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There was lots to look at. It took me a few moments to realize we were looking down at Kathy's Lake. Trailhead
On our way back we again took a slightly different route, this time going to the opposite side of the upper lake. And then we were back at Enos, looking at our camp atop the rock on the opposite side. Trailhead

 

Dave making photographs from near the waterfall.

When we got back to "our" side of the lake, the kids were pretty much packed and ready. Eat, pack, and push on....

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2.9 miles, 1671' gain, 2:43 camp-to-camp Trailhead
When we were all packed and the camp checked for cleanliness (I forgot to mention earlier how pleased I was that this relatively heavily-used campsite was in excellent condition when we arrived), it was time to do the thousand-foot climb out. For better or worse, the steepest part is the first two hundred feet of gain. What a way to warm up! Trailhead
When we got to the saddle above Enos, it was time to head up South Loon. Following the ridge involves a little downfall, but is basically pretty good walking. Then some easy blocks to the final summit. Trailhead
Nicole was pretty happy. Trailhead
She has a, well, let's call it interesting summit celebration. At least it's healthy! Trailhead
1.0 miles, 494' gain, 1:13 saddle-to-saddle Trailhead
When we got back to Mike, we had another quick snack. Then after a little confusion about exactly where the 'trail' was, we were headed downhill. We regained the trail, and headed back on known terrain. Trailhead
Soon enough, we were doing the climb up to what we refer to as Hum Saddle #2, the one separating Hum from Loon Creek. Everyone loved this section of trail. Trailhead

Nicole's favorite hike is to Hum Saddle #1, which separates Hum from Duck Lake. She has done it quite a few times, but never gone down to the lake.

So it was fun to see Hum Lake from a new perspective. And then, finally, to hike down to Hum Lake for the first time.

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Although there were a few periods of bright sunshine in the morning, it had been mostly cloudy all day. As we neared Hum Lake, a few spits from the sky had our attention. So it was busy bees getting camp set up, just in time for it to really start raining. But as the several-hours-long rain storm commenced, we were warm and snuggled in. And just in time for cocktail hour. Trailhead

Map.

Incomplete, but the rest of the hiking part is shown on the previous map to Enos Lake.

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Friday

Last night, it rained pretty good for a few hours. Then sometime after we all went to sleep it cleared off and the temperature plummeted. Everything that was wet (meaning anything outside the tent) froze solid. Down at the lake, you're sort of in a hole that holds the cold and doesn't get sun until quite late. So we didn't hit the trail until about 10.

If you click for the larger version of the pic, you can see Mike and Dave climbing through the exquisite fall colors.

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Nicole above her favorite lake. South Loon in the background. Trailhead
Dave and Mike near Hum Saddle #1. Trailhead

Mike about half way down to Duck Lake.

About here, we could see the road and our thoughts turned back to civilization: food, showers, the internet (and where should we go next?). It was a great few days with the Becks.

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Make sure to visit Dave's blog for much better photos:

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