The Book of Ginger

Chapter II

Hiking Chronicles

Melakwa Lake

Ginger 'Facts'

Hiking & Backpacking


Winter Adventures

Weather Home

Behind the Ginger

tim at the upper lake upper melakwa lake
Day length:
6 hours
Hikers: Tim
Elevation Gain: 2300 ft
Total Distance: 10 mi
  • Forest Pass
Trail Conditions:
  • Some snow
  • creeks
  • mud
  • some bugs
  • blow downs
Weather: clear

This was my first hike I have done by myself, and this time it only happened due to my lack of ability to find company. Though it was surprisingly enjoyable, I brought headphones in case I got lonely, but I never even thought about using them. Donít get me wrong talking with your group is a lot of fun on hikes,, but often you get soo into your conversation of normal world issues it kind of detracts from the beauty of nature. Also when hiking alone interacting with other hikers becomes more pleasurable since their presence isnít blocking an ongoing conversation or other group dynamic. On this particular day about a mile into the hike, at the Denny Creek crossing (where the bridge is out) I met Bob, from Ballard, who I got to talk to for the next 2 or so miles, until my pace became too slow for him. The random people meeting is kind of cool; as most hikers are very friendly, totally the opposite to how people act in town typically.

So, back to the actual hike, the first mile is relatively flat meandering through the woods between the elevated roadway of I90, you cross under the westbound lanes at about .75mi and from below its pretty cool looking up at the engineering/architecture of how the freeway flows over the valley above the trees; though getting past it is also nice, not having to hear the trucks rumble by. After the first mile is the Denny creek crossing, and at low water like today that is simple on a short term pile of logs/rocks. Then the trail starts the main climb. The first section is nicely shaded but before too long it opens up and your crossing low vegetation mixed with scree fields. Switch backs taking you right up the valley. There are a few creek crossings all that have logs well positioned. And there were 4 large blow downs to climb over, but all-in-all the trail was nice. At the Lake a few snow patches remained when walking around to the upper lake. Falling on them wouldnít have been good since they were fairly steep and close to the water so they could result in a less present walk down.

The lakes were very pretty, Main Melakwa Lake was about 70% snow covered and upper lake was about 20% covered. Like all the alpine lakes the water was amazingly clear and I was pleased to have no trouble with bugs. There were enough large rocks around for great sunbathing/cloud gazing in the sky or in the lakes reflection.

going under the freeway falls sunny days in the mountains Melakwa Lake

tim on the snow clear water creek bridge lake level changing shadows

about to start down