Long distance bites, but it means that every time I get to see Andrea it’s like a mini vacation. Fortunately, the timing of her September visit couldn’t have been better since it corresponded to the “turning” of the larches – Washington’s deciduous conifer – into their characteristic bright yellow in the autumn. But first, some photos from a quick day trip to Whidbey Island, including Ebey’s Landing and Fort Casey:
Right then, onto the beautiful scenery:
Ingalls Lake Larches
This hike starts from the trailhead at the end of the Teanaway Road, accessed through Cle Elum on the east slopes of the Cascades. This is one of my absolute favorite areas (see this trip in the early spring on skis), but I haven’t yet been up in the autumn to see the larches. The trail is pretty straightforward with some moderate elevation gain and there are plenty of trail guides out there, so I won’t go into much detail.
The trail ascends to Ingalls Pass by traversing along some steep hills but the trail has good tread (sketchy in snowy conditions sometimes though). There are good views of Esmeralda Peak from here but no larches yet.
Once we reached Ingalls Pass, the larches were ablaze on the other side of the ridge on the cooler, north facing slopes.
The grove of larches extends all the way to the slopes of the Ingalls Peaks. We ambled through this section taking lots of photos. They don’t really capture the “Dr. Seuss” effect of the oddly shaped trees in the grove.
As we neared Lake Ingalls, the weather started to move in a little bit and the light didn’t capture the color of the trees as well. They definitely contrast better against blue sky.
However, the low hanging clouds interacted with the terrain in interesting ways. I’m pretty happy with this next shot for some reason.
It started to drizzle on us at the lake. We ate our lunch, called it a day, and headed back for the car.