Hike Difficulty: moderate (because of my heavy pack, mostly!)
Hike Length: 8.15 mi RT
Elevation Gain: 1319 ft out, 351 ft coming back
Highest Point: 5869 ft
Time: 1 hr 50 mins out, 1 hr 30 mins back
My Rating (out of 5): 4.5 – I knew that I had to come back to explore the section of the PCT at Cook and Green Pass again, so I made a solo overnight trip out of it. I just got a new 100L backpack that I wanted to test out, so I packed it full of all my camping supplies. I didn’t expect to make it to the top of Red Buttes, partially because of my overstuffed pack and partially because my dog can’t rock climb very well at that steep of grade.
After I passed the ridge that marks the turnoff to Echo Lake, it was all new territory for me. I enjoyed Bee Camp Spring, which was full of flowers and bees with their little butts sticking out. At about 4 miles from the trailhead, I finally reached Lilypad Lake, which is nestled in some gorgeous scenery. We even had a little deer visit our campsite then run off when the dog went nuts. Grace and I slept decent, though she was constantly trying to snuggle with me to get warm and kept kicking me off my sleeping pad. It’s still a work in progress.
The morning offered some amazing views, especially once everything got hit by the first sun rays of the day. This was the perfect way to end the weekend.