A journey for my birthday this year. Our original goal was to hike all the way into mink lake. But we only made it to Junction lake before we collapsed from exhaustion. Next time we will start from a different starting point. There are a lot of mosquitoes in this area so bring lots of bug repellent
- Trail name: Elk Creek Trail #3510
- Distance: 7.6 miles to Junction Lake
- elevation gain: 2000 ft (2950 to 4970)
- Difficulty: Difficult
From Blue River proceed east for 4 miles on Hwy 126, turn right on Rd 19 (Cougar Dam) and continue for 22 miles, turn left onto Rd 1964 for 2.7 miles, then turn left onto Rd 456 to Elk Creek trailhead ½ mile.
The first three miles of the path up from the parking area are the most brutal of this climb. 1600 foot climb in just under three miles. Well it was brutal for the two of us. We got passed by a group up near the three mile mark and it didn’t even look like they had even broke a sweat. After reaching the top of the plataeu the path is mostly small rolling hills for the rest of the way in.
The end of the hill climb is in sight
Just past the five mile mark you will reach a trail crossing the path. The intersection has a well marked sign on what is each direction. The trail to Mink lake is on the northern trail (turn left)
By the time we made it to Junction lake we were barely moving still. In hindsight doing a eight mile hike as our first backpacking trip was probably not my best idea. But it was a good measure of how good of shape we are in and how far we still need to improve. For me losing a bit more weight will make a big difference. By my 40th birthday next year I want to be in good enough shape to hike up to the top of South Sister mountain. Which is a 11.5 mile round trip with a 4900 foot elevation climb. There are supposed to be Cutthroat and Rainbow trout in Junction Lake, but we did’t have any bite or see any raising to the surface. We were on the shallower side of the lake so the fishing might be better around the back of the lake. We were just to tired to walk around to the other side.
Several great books for the local areas
We are an amazon affiliate so any support helps us make more video and articles. If there are any video subjects or articles you would like to see please comment to let us know.