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Mount Pend Oreille via Lake Darling
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mini location map2021-10-08
21 by photographer avatarLindaAnn
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Mount Pend Oreille via Lake DarlingNorthern, ID
Northern, ID
Hiking avatar Oct 08 2021
Hiking10.16 Miles 2,254 AEG
Hiking10.16 Miles   6 Hrs   25 Mns   1.76 mph
2,254 ft AEG      38 Mns Break
1st trip
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This one just reopened a couple of weeks ago after the Trestle Complex Fire, so I was excited to put it back on the list for this trip. My daughter and I got started just after 0830 to temps around 30 degrees.

Headed up the Lake Darling Trail, with plans to turn onto trail 161 to make this hike a loop. Realized about a tenth of a mile past where I thought the turn would be that we had missed it somehow. There definitely wasn’t a sign or obvious turn. If I had been alone, I would have backtracked, but I didn’t want to make my daughter head back downhill to look for a trail that may or may not be there, and since the trail we were on looked well traveled, I decided we would make it an out and back.

Easy two miles on a frozen trail up to Lake Darling, which had ice around the edges. My daughter played by the lake for a few minutes before we continued uphill. The next mile past the lake had a lot of vegetation, which was nothing but twigs in the fall, but would have been annoying while leafed out in the summer. It was a steeper climb up to the Divide trail, but nothing too terrible, and was actually quite enjoyable. Some snow on the ground above 5900’.

At the junction with the Divide, we took a break on the rocks which had great views to the west. After that, he headed north on the Divide, then began the final ascent to the summit of Mount Pend Oreille. It was steep and rocky, but overall decent, and we were at the top before too long. Outstanding views in all directions, and I took way too many pictures.

There were three hikers at the summit who had started at the south end of the Divide trail, so I asked them if they had noticed the junction with trail 161 on the north side of Lunch Peak. I was thinking if they had seen the junction, we could reverse the loop, but I didn’t want to head that way before knowing for sure, as a mistake would cost two extra miles. Unfortunately, they were three of the unhappiest hikers I’d ever met, and had absolutely zero useful information. Every question or comment they made further reinforced their determination to be miserable, so I gave up on talking to them. Reagan and I moved to the other end of the summit and had a snack before heading back down.

Uneventful hike back down. The trail had thawed in a few places, so there was some mud. Quick stop at the lake again. Finally spotted trail 161 on the way back out—no sign, and barely a noticeable trail, but I marked a waypoint to do the loop next summer. This was my favorite hike of the week, and definitely a summit I would do again.
foliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observationfoliage observation
Autumn Foliage Observation Isolated
Colors seened to be past prime.

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water less than max Gordon Creek Medium flow Medium flow
Clear and flowing

water 1 out of 5water 2 out of 5water 3 out of 5water 4 out of 5 Lake Darling 76-100% full 76-100% full
Lake is full
If it’s above freezing, it’s too hot.
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