August 12, 2018

Lonesome Lake

By In 4Runner

With Spartan Race race dropping the ball on two volunteer credits I had earned and then our backup plan being rained out, we looked at the ever-growing list of spots we’ve been wanting to visit. Lonesome Lake hasn’t been on the list very long, but figured this would be a quick and easy adventure, rain or shine. So Saturday afternoon after we each finished up some errands, we hopped in the 4Runner and made our way out along Hwy 410.
Before long, we were hitting forest roads and climbing into the mountains. It was honestly surprising how well this road was maintained. I don’t think this area sees much traffic, so minus some wash boarding early on, there really wasn’t much to avoid, thankfully.

Thinking we had somehow avoided most of the rain, we enjoyed the views as we gained more and more elevation. Turning a corner, we found ourselves looking over a large valley, with much of the opposite side covered in a thin veil of smoke. I didn’t think there were any active fires in the White River valley area. Drove a little further and happened across a couple of USFS guys keeping an eye on the fire. Chatted with them for a bit and he said they were there to watch and make sure it didn’t get too crazy. I had mentioned how we were on the other side of the valley last weekend and heard a ton of thunder and he said it was likely the cause. They said they had dropped a small team in a few days prior without much luck containing the blaze either, so just hoping the rain and temps today would help get it to die down. (I learned later this is known as the Wrong Creek Fire)

Back on the road, we made quick work of the remaining mile or so and found ourselves at Lonesome Lake and a van full of kids on their way out, thankfully. How lucky to have the place to ourselves. We grabbed my fly road, camera bag and Dani grabbed a book and we made our way to the shore. With some slight breaks in the clouds, it really wasn’t that bad. I was getting a few strikes, but they were quick to spit the fly out or I was too slow to set the hook. Either way, we were enjoying the the lake and even thought about jumping in because the water felt surprisingly warm. I ended up catching a smaller guy before eventually succumbing to the mosquitoes and weather (it did start to dump on us).

Upon the advice of some fellow 4Runner homies, we caught a side road we passed on the way to the lake and decided to give it a shot and hope the clouds would break for a nice view of the mountain. Spoiler alert, they never broke. But we did hit some of the most aggressive roads I’ve seen since I’ve had the 4Runner. Got to use the rear diff lock for a minute even, woohoo! It certainly confirmed that it’s time to start a list of items for a lift and much better/more capable tires if we want to get deeper into the woods.

We found the spot for the view, but enjoyed a view of intense clouds/fog instead. As the rain continued to fall, we started our descent towards 410 and as always, got sidetracked with a side road and found ourselves on an abandoned road due to a washout a number of years ago. A fun little side adventure and found at least one killer spot to camp near the river this fall. After looking at the clock, we pointed the rig towards home and hustled out of there. A great day trip indeed and found a couple future camp sites to add to the list!