Calamut Lake - August 12, 2017
Coordinator Lane Harris, narration and pictures by Lane Harris

With the Umpqua National Forest plagued with fires and lung-choking smoke, going to a high cascade mountain lake proved to be an excellent escape from all that. Lane led 12 hikers on a trek to Calamut Lake and beyond.

After a short 1.5 mile hike to Calamut Lake, the group was awe-inspired by the large clear lake! Another bonus: No smoke! We noticed about a dozen backpackers camped out next to the lake and some friendly talk ensued. Several of them were out in the middle of the lake floating in inflatable rafts, whiles others were fishing or swimming near the bank. It certainly looked like they were enjoying themselves, and several of us wished we had brought our own tents and supplies!

With no tents, but with plenty of smiles, we continued on around the perimeter of the lake, enjoying the picturesque views. After completing the one mile lake loop, a side trail on the west side of the lake steered up towards Sawtooth Mtn. Lane had scouted this out when he had pre-hiked, and had marked the sometimes sketchy trail with some bright flagging, which helped keep hikers from straying off the trail.
Although the trail continued on to lands unknown, it was determined that a one mile climb from the lake to a rocky outcrop would be the turn-around point. Everyone took a break and gazed down into the Diamond Lake area, although it was not visible due to the thick smoke. In fact, we could just barely make out the distinctive peaks of Mt Thielsen and Mt Bailey.

After having our fill of hazy views, everyone regrouped at the lake where several of us cooled off with a nice swim! Just perfect on this warm, summer day. After the relaxing dip, we made the hike back to the trailhead, completing a very satisfying 5.5 mile hike. 

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