gpx track, use at your own risk: Devil to Moraine
We left Bham early and decided to take the back way in to avoid the traffic in Seattle, Federal Way, Tacoma, Olympia, and Portland, that would be some traffic! Instead we went south on I5 to 405 then to 90 and went south. The drive was nice and without any real traffic. Still, with food and bathroom stops, it took about ten hours to get to the start of the trail. There are several places you can enter the loop, since I wanted to summit the South Sister we went in at Devil’s Lake parking (N44 02.131 W121 45.951).
The trail leaves the parking area and in a few hundred feet crosses the road and then starts up the hill. The hike into Moraine Lake was short but had some elevation gain, 1267 ft in the first two miles. The first two thirds of the trail in was in an old forest, we never saw the mountain until at the trail junction at 2 miles. To go to the Sister the trail continues straight but since we wanted the lake we went to the right.
As we were approaching the lake we had our first real view of Broken Top, an “extinct, glacially eroded stratovolcano” (thanks Wiki, now I have to look up stratovolcano). A stratovolcano is ” a tall, conical volcano composed of one layer of hardened lava, tephra, and volcanic ash”
I thought the clouds on top looked cool because it can help me visualize what the mountain may have looked like at one time.
The trail loses a little elevation as you approach the lake. Camping is in designated spots only and there is a map as you approach the lake that shows where the sites are. We went over to the hill on the right to find our home for the night.
There were a few other sites already occupied but since it was a Thursday it wasn’t too bad.
We set up camp and made dinner. We had an excellent view of Broken top and enjoyed watching the sun go down and the stars come out before turning in for the night.