Annette Lake Hike
Sunday October 14th 2007
The hike up to Annette Lake isn't too bad. It is uphill most of the way, but it isn't tremendously steep, and since it isn't that far, it only gets a Moderate rating. It seemed to me that this was a dark hike - perhaps the late autumn day was exceptionally overcast, but we spent a lot of timing hiking beneath gloomy and shadowy trees. Only at a couple of points along the way can you see any views - these points are in the last third of the hike when the trail crosses over some avalanche chutes. Since the avalanches have removed all the trees, we got some views of Humpback Mountain and looking across the I-90 corridor to Granite Mountain. We could just make out the fire station on the peak of Granite Mountain.
In the first mile of the hike, the trail to Annette Lake crosses the Iron Horse Trail. This is an old railroad line that has been converted into a mountain bike route. Just to the left of where we crossed it, the old railroad line went through a 2 mile tunnel at the Snoqualmie Pass. Today, you can ride your bike through the long tunnel (lights are recommended, of course!) This sounds pretty cool to me, we will have to try that some day. You can see the tunnel marked on the upper right corner of the topo map - you may have to zoom in and pan around a little bit.
The lake itself is pretty nice. Trails allow you to walk along about half of the shore. There are several camp sites. A waterfall pours into the lake at the base of Mount Abiel, but unfortunately there doesn't appear to be any way to get over to it. Our whole visit took about 4 hours because we took our time eating lunch on the shore, and walking along as much of shoreline that was accessible.
When we got back down to the parking lot, there were several police officers preventing anyone from leaving the trailhead parking lot. It seems that some hoodlums had been smashing all the windows of cars at various hiking spots - and then reaching in to steal radios and handbags. But on that morning, the cops were waiting for them. The hoodlums tried to escape by driving their car down the access road, but unfortunately for them, they plowed headlong into an oncoming police car. One of the villains jumped out of the car and ran off into the woods. The reason the cops made everyone wait is that they were bringing in tracking dogs to follow the fleeing man's trail - they didn't want departing cars to drive over the scent. So we waited for a while, and eventually a police dog handler showed up and they went off into the woods. A while later, we were allowed to leave.
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