Killen Creek Trail & Takhlakh Lake, Mt. Adams

Killen Creek, Mt. Adams // Hike the PNW

Distance Roundtrip: ~8 miles RT
Elevation Gain: 2000 ft.
Highest Elevation: 6000 ft.
Location: Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Lettering Medium:
 Brush Ink
Images taken with an iPhone6

This post is a bit overdue but our summer has been packed, between weekend adventures, wedding festivities for family and work I haven’t had much time to letter. Thankfully it rained for like an hour this week and I was able to settle in early and do some lettering.

We ventured to Takhlakh Lake for the Fourth of July weekend thanks to some friends of ours for booking reservations back in February. The campground is small and rustic (no running water, only pit toilets) but charming. It’s settled on a small lake with the most beautiful backdrop of Mt. Adams. I’ve never actually spent any time near Adams and was in awe of it’s size. It’s a couple thousand feet shorter than Rainier but is still quite impressive. After setting up camp we headed down to the lake to realize a forest fire had started nearby. We were told to pack up camp and be ready to head out should the forest rangers decide to evacuate. The next few hours were spent in limbo – should we pack up and look elsewhere? That seemed crazy, it was fourth of July weekend after all. Thankfully our patience was rewarded, the forest fire was contained between two lakes. We gratefully re-set up camp, enjoyed dinner and the most gorgeous post wildfire sunset.
Tahklahk Lake // Hike the PNWTahklahk Lake // Hike the PNW

Saturday morning we drove a mile down the road to Divide Camp to realize the rangers had closed off a section of trails around Mt. Adams due to the previous day’s wildfire. Killen Creek was just beyond the closure so we headed another mile down the road to the trailhead and started off. This was our pup’s first hike – he’s only eight months so we knew he likely wouldn’t make it the whole way but were optimistic about trying! The trail was hot (hello 90 degrees), buggy and dusty. The bugs are ferocious this year – the combination of biting flies and mosquitos is just plain no fun. The bugs were slightly forgotten when we reached the alpine meadows covered in pretty wildflowers. Lots of purple lupine covered the ground – can’t believe how early they bloomed this year! And then all of a sudden we could see Adams – so close it felt like we could touch the mountain. If it weren’t for the bugs I would have been sad we weren’t staying the night to see the mountain up close at sunrise. We pushed on just beyond the PCT intersection. Looking back the way we came was a spectacular view of Rainier and Goat Rocks to the north. I can only imagine what the views must be like from High Camp. Due to the bugs, the heat and our tired pup we decided this was a good turning point. After a five minute standing lunch (those flies were sure biting!!) we attempted to pack the pup up in my backpack (he’s a 20lb Boston Terrier) without success. My backpack was too small, my husbands too deep. We spent the remainder of the hike switching off carrying duty and dousing him with water to keep him cool. What a life!
killencreek1Tahklahk Lake // Hike the PNW

After hiking we took a mandatory dip in the lake – sooo refreshing before putting on clean clothes and settling into naps at camp. It turns out we’ve created quite the city dog – he prefers our sleeping pads and pillows over the dirt outside. We’re going to have to work on that ;)

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