Upper Duck Lake and Burnside Peak

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The ol' bait and switch: an invitation to Upper Duck slips into the incredible views from Burnside Peak.

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

I've been wanting to hike to Upper Duck for some time now. It wouldn't be my first time, mind you, but it's such a gorgeous place one should give it a visit occasionally. So with that part in mind, the gorgeousness, I invited my neighbor and partner in crime, Craig.

So to set the tone appropriately, there's Burnside Peak and a whole lot of brush as viewed on our way to Duck Lake.

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And there's Duck Lake. For Ruby, heading out on a log for a picture has become almost automatic.

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Instead of taking the shortest way possible, we did a leisurely tour around the lake. Take your time and see the sights!

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Fall colors are at their utmost.

Craig was amused by Ruby's understanding of mountaineering.

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If you didn't find Ruby in the last photo (click for a bigger version), here she is. On top, of course. Doesn't really matter what it is.

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We were warmed by the sun coming up, and the colors were warming, too- exhilarating!

To the left is Hum Saddle, with Foolhen Peak to the right of it.

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I was a bit shocked when we arrived to Upper Duck- dog barking, tents everywhere, people fishing. On a Monday! You people need to get jobs!

But Craig was amenable to exploring further.... that's Burnside Peak above us.

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So we tried to be polite and avoid their camp, but really- they were everywhere. Tents, float tubes, you name it. All over the place. Containment, anyone?

I felt better when we had climbed well above the lake, where we could see Humdinger on the right, and the sharp pyramid of Lost Art Peak just left of center.

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And then we were on the ridge looking at the upper mountain. Ruby, of course, was just above us. Trailhead
It's a pretty steep hillside. Trailhead

But we did the steep stuff and were soon debating which rock formation was the highest. We think this one, although the GPS only gave it 4' more than the other one.

In the background, the dark pyramid is Beaverdam, with Teardrop to its right (in the center).

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There's the other one over there. So we climbed it, too. Lots of fun scrambling the big blocks.

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Looking down to from where we had come. Trailhead

Craig and I agree on loops. Always better to see more country. If it looks like our route is blocked right behind Ruby....

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It was.

But we found an acceptable go-around, then continued whacking brush on our way back down to the trail.

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A little more brush to go. The girls were having a great time.

When we finally got down to the Duck Lake outlet for the drink I had promised them, there was hardly a trickle going down the creekbed.

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And then we were on the trail headed for home.

That's Sawtooth Peak in the background.

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Map

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