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Elk Creek Trail #3510
1 Photoset

2020-06-22  
mini location map2020-06-22
7 by photographer avatarkeepmoving
photographer avatar
 
Elk Creek Trail #3510North Central, OR
North Central, OR
Backpack22.02 Miles 3,247 AEG
Backpack22.02 Miles2 Days         
3,247 ft AEG11 LBS Pack
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Parked at South Fork McKenzie Trailhead and hiked Elk Creek Trail into the Three Sisters Wilderness. Got a late start and was on trail at about 1630. Temps in the mid 80s and sunny. Trail is in pretty good condition, overgrown a bit and the occasional down log, but not bad for a trail that doesn't get much traffic. Started to encounter mosquitoes at about 4200' and they became increasingly worse as I continued to climb, fortunately I had pre-treated all my clothes in permetherin, otherwise it would have been completely unbearable.

I had planned on camping at Junction Lake, but it was tough to sit still with all the mosquitoes, so I decided to push a bit further and check out Mink Lake. Ended up finding a terrific campsite on a rocky outcropping along the north shore of the lake. Watched the sunset as a couple night hawks flew back and forth across the lake. The mosquitoes slowly subsided as dusk turned to complete darkness and I retreated to bed.

The next morning I hiked out to Cliff Lake (simply because it has an intriguing name). The actual path to the lake is unmarked, but pretty easy to find if you know what you are looking for. There is a large wooden shelter set up by the outlet to the creek- I had absolutely no idea it existed and hadn't seen it marked on maps, so it made for a really cool find.

After Cliff Lake, I followed the PCT south, looping around the south side of Packsaddle Mountain and following the Elk Creek Trail back down to the parking lot. Fun trip overall- despite the heat and the mosquitoes. Only saw 1 other group camped along the SE shore of Mink Lake when I was hiking out in the morning.
Culture
Culture [ checklist ]
[ checklist ] Campsite
wildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observationwildflower observation
Wildflowers Observation Light
Rhododendrons in flower. Some Indian Paintbrush, Lupine, and Beargrass blooming as well
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