Seven Lakes Trail to Alta Lake - July 28, 2007
Coordinator Richard O'Neill, narration and pictures by Richard O'Neill

What a difference the time of year makes. Last time I did this hike with Ray, the trail was knee deep in snow and it was 29 degrees. Common sense took a back seat to adventure that day.

7 brave and hardy Friends of the Umpqua on a beautiful day headed up into the Seven Lakes Basin. The trail headed up through subalpine forest. That was the theme of the day: up and forest. There were huckleberries just going ripe and Gaoying, who is from China, discovered the joys of huckleberries. After a couple of miles, we arrived at picturesque Frog Lake. No frogs but some mosquitos. After lunch we headed up the slope to Violet Ridge. 

Alta Lake sits in a cleft at the very summit of Violet Hill. You could probably throw a rock across the lake but it is about a mile or more in length. Well, let's be accurate here: Most people, but not Ray, could throw a rock across. I've seen him throw.

After taking in the lake view, we left the trail and headed up a ridge to a breathtaking viewpoint atop a cliff. Devils Peak dominated the vista, Cliff Lake nestled at its base. The Seven Lakes Basin lay way down below our feet with Grass and Middle Lake visible. The Basin sloped up a cinder cone dotted uplands all the way to Crater Lake. Lots of volcanos. 

Gaoying and Lois headed down early and Richard S, Ray, Phil and myself delightfully lollygagged and dallied at the viewpoint. We took a little walk down to the lake and Richard S waded into the lake to take a picture.

From there it was back down and where I eagerly approached the huckleberry field only to find Gaoying did not leave me any. She had a nice baggy full though. All in all another great hike, and enjoy the photos.


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