July 1-8, 1989
Saturday, 1 July 89 — PCT devotees Bob Devine and Dick Moffitt drove to Crater Lake in one car and left it there, and on to Fish Lake (near Mt. McLoughlin) in another car. The Fish Lake Campground was full for the 4th of July weekend so we hiked up the trail 100 yards and pitched our tents — free. We were worried about the weather because it had been rainy all of the previous week, but sometime during the night the clouds all left and
Sunday — dawned bright and clear. After a big breakfast at the Fish Lake Resort restaurant we headed out for the 12.3-mile first day. Went past Freye Lake Trailhead for Mt. McLoughlin climbers. Talked to several hikers. That afternoon hiked down into Summit Lake near Four Mile Lake, eventually went over to Squaw Lake and camped on the windy side. Even with the wind, it was a constant battle to keep the mosquitos off. Went to bed at 7 p.m. and read the route map until dark. Just couldn’t stay outside of the tent.
Monday — arose about 6 a.m. with sunrise. The mosquitos were still waiting for us, but they were sluggish in the morning. After breakfast we climbed out through the trees to a high viewpoint from which we could see Four Mile Lake, Squaw Lake and the High Mountain Wilderness Area. Back into the trees with a rare southward glimpse of Mt. McLoughlin. Bob developed a blister on his right shoulder under the pack strap. He adjusted the straps. We later entered the Sky Lakes Basin. Met several groups of weekend backpackers. We chose Lake Notasha for our campsite. Winds of 15 mph across the lake and into our camp kept the mosquitos at bay for a pleasant evening. A 9.5-mile day.
Tuesday — we hiked all morning through the Sky Lakes Basin. Many lakes. Neat area to come back to and explore. This entire day was via the old Oregon Skyline Trail. In the area it parallels the PCT and I recommend the Skyline Trail. There are no lakes on the PCT. We had a 1.5-mile climb on the snow up to the saddle of Devils Peak/Lee Peak. At 7,300 feet it is the highest point on the Oregon PCT (and the Skyline Trail). A long glissade off the north side of the saddle and more bushwhacking until the trail to Grass Lake was found. This 10-mile day was our most difficult due to the climbing out of Sky Lakes Basin and descending into the Seven Lakes Basin. All on snow. Camped by Lake is the source of the Middle Fork of the Rogue River.
Wednesday — we thought that this would be our “rest day” since we only had 8.3 miles to Jack Springs. Wrong! Even though it had low mileage we found areas of snow that required climbing up 3 to 6 feet over each drift and then dropping back down to the trail again — often. At times we wandered through the woods looking for blazes — few. Trail was totally covered by snow here. No PCT trail diamonds, only saw three all day. We were ambushed by clouds of mosquitos near Big Bunchgrass Mtn. My Muskol and Bob’s Skeeter Beater really worked — saved our skins.
Thursday — was our easiest day at only 7.4 miles. The morning required trail-finding in the snow and again many vertical feet of climbing up, over and down every snowdrift. In the afternoon we descended to Red Blanket Creek. Got out of the snow for easier hiking. Early afternoon arrival at Stuart Falls Camp gave us time to explore the falls area and watch the friendly doe amble around. Very pleasant sleeping while listening to the roar of the falls.
Friday — within a half-mile of camp we crossed the boundary from Sky Lakes Wilderness into Crater Lake National Park. Many signs denoting the park boundary. We had gotten our permit the previous Saturday. Hiked 9.3 miles, mostly on old abandoned dirt roads that are slowly becoming only trails. Arrived at Mazama Campground at 3:30 p.m. Ah, civilization. Piped water and comfort stations.
Saturday — left Mazama Campground and proceeded up the Annie Springs Trail to re-intersect the PCT. After a short way we left the PCT for this portion of the trip and went up Dutton Creek Trail to Crater Lake Rim for this day's 4.5 miles. This summer’s total miles, 61.3. Wonderful view of the lake, in warm clear weather made a perfect ending to a really neat backpack trip. Obsidian members were Bob Devine and leader Dick Moffitt.