|Date: Day length:||8/07/2012 6 hours|
|Elevation Gain:||2900 ft|
|Total Distance:||12 mi|
|Weather:||sun and clouds|
On this adventure I was planning on going to Mt. Defiance, but with construction and detours on I90, I ended up incorrectly following the signs and found myself at the Pratt Lake trail head instead. It was already noon, so I decided why not, hadn’t hiked this before so it’s all good.
The trail head for Pratt Lake is also the trail head for Granite Mountain (future hike hopefully); they share the first ~0.75 miles of trail, then Granite Mtn. shoots up a steeper trail as the Pratt Lake trail continues generally westward slowly up. Farther along the trail you pass above Olallie Lake and a trail split down to Talapus Lake. The overlook along the trail, of Olallie Lake has the potential for nice views of Mt. Rainier as a back drop, but my day was a hazy with clouds coming in, so I could barely make out the mountain. Shortly after Olallie Lake you hit the ridge and started climbing down the other side to the lake. It seemed like you drop 500-600 ft. on the other side to reach lake level.
Lunch and my turn around point was at the north end of the lake for me the trail continues on to connect up with the Melakwa Lake trail eventually. The hills/mountains surrounding the lake are more well-rounded consisting of all scree and tree clumps; no steep cliffs like the higher cascades. On the way back to the car the weather was turning fog/dense cloud cover was filling the valley and the trail got fairly dark for how early in the day it was. Made for a pretty cool walk back, also helped me enjoy a long day dream as I hiked. :)
Trail thoughts: Oranges good trail food
No cell service—need a watch—phone’s clock doesn’t work w/o reception
Need synthetic hiking wear, tired of getting utterly soaked in sweat (and having it held close)