Rainbow Lake

Suzanne had to be back to Seattle early so we needed a close in hike. Morning dawned with low clouds all the way to the Cascade crest and beyond. We chose an old favorite. Rainbow is a fast 11 miles on the smooth Pratt Lake trail. We were on the trail by 8:00 am. By the end of the first half mile we were in the clouds. It is still summer but it did not feel like it. By the Granite Mountain turn off I had warmed up enough to take off my pant legs. Suzanne set a fast pace and I managed to keep up.

We took a short water break at the Olallie Lake overview. We could see the lake but only clouds above it. Just 7 or 8 years ago there was an open view down to the lake. Now trees have grown up and are beginning to block the view. The talus field near the viewpoint is showing some signs of changing colors. Leaves are mostly green and orange with a little red.

We passed one couple doing a one way trip via Mason Lake. That was it for the the trip to the lake. The cool weather helped me keep up the pace. On the side of Pratt Mountain we did see half a dozen Indian paintbrush still hanging on. As we dropped down to the lakes basin the clouds became thicker. There was another reason we chose this hike. It has blueberries.

For some strange reason nobody has been picking them. Within 20 minutes we filled a quart container apiece. It only took us 2:10 to hike the 5 1/2 miles to the lake. We could not see the lake until we were right on the shore. Rainbow Lake is narrow but we could not see the other shore. I needed to put on a windshirt as it was cold. After lunch we were ready to head back.

Suzanne did notice that there is now toilet at the lake. A sign is right on the trail. It was now 11:15 and the clouds had not lightened up at all. A quick 400' climb and it was all downhill so to speak. On the way back we ran into the expected crowds. Lots of young people and families. Several groups were asking about the route to Talapus and Olallie Lakes. Others just wanted to know how to get to any lake.

We passed several people toting full plastic bags. Nobody told us it was bag day on the trail. We also passed a family in which the little boy was dragging a stick by a rope. I guess that is following the rules on leashes. The trip down was fast. We were back at the car by 1:30. It was still just as cloudy as when we began. The lot had 8 cars when we started and now was full to overflowing.

We had a very successful hike. It was fast. We saw only two people on the way in. We picked lots of blueberries. We were back to Seattle before 2:30. Not bad for a half day hike.

Olallie Lake
Talus Field
Suzanne On Trail
Early Color
Purple Mushroom
Near Lake
Berry Bushes
More Berries
Cloudy Reflection
Rainbow Lake
Lake View
Another Shroom
My Favorite
Yet Another
Color On Return
Leaves & Drops
More Leaves
Multiple Colors
Click on thumbnails to get larger pictures.

Trips - 2007