Ancient Lake Hike

Friday, Liddy and I found ourselves on a ramble to Ancient Lake, near Quincy, Washington.

The Coulee is typical of this arid countryside. Lots of sage and dry grass. Rattlesnake country, but we didn’t see any.

A large block of lava has rolled down into the bottom of the Coulee beside the Ancient Lake Trail.
We were surprised by this pretty cascade as we walked the trail to Ancient Lake. It became visible only when we stepped around a bend in the cliffs.

As I mention in the caption, this small cascade was a pleasant surprise as we approached that large lava block.

It wasn’t quite as exciting when we got further around and were able to see it full on the cliff face.

I imagine this stream dries up in summer.

I don’t think I will be finding out as this is a quite inhospitable location in the summertime. As you can see from the landscape above, there is absolutely no shade anywhere here and the water is full of chemicals from the orchards above the coulee, so bring your own.

Ancient Lake, at the east end of the coulee was our destination. I had learned about the waterfalls sometime in the past when I was first looking at hikes in this area.

A pretty set of cascades fall from the Columbia Plateau into Ancient Lake near Quincy Washington.

This shot is the one I like best from the day. A nice close up of the three waterfalls plunging down the cliffs into the lake.

Liddy had to go wading, and I enjoyed sitting on the side of the lake and enjoying the morning. There were several Canada Geese being vocal, and on the way out we came across a large white egret.

Another view of Ancient Lake.
The trail is quite narrow along the shore of Ancient Lake. Watch out for Poison Ivy in places.

Liddy and I hiked the narrow path along the north side of the lake. It gets quite narrow in places and there is a thriving patch of Poison Ivy that we had to walk through. Fortunately, it wasn’t such an obstacle that we came in contact with the stuff.

I have not so fond memories of my first encounter with this pretty plant. It was a huge vine that my fly-fishing line became entangled in. I didn’t recognize the plant so didn’t know to cut my losses and run. Several tortured weeks followed that evening fishing the Okanagan River.

Flowers and leaves breaking out on a tree at the edge of Ancient Lake.

The trees and shrubs were full of small birds. A number of red-winged blackbirds as well as the smaller sparrows and finches.

It was a good hike to break in my new backpack and learn that the boots I had recently purchased were a little bit small. Sore toes when we arrived back at the car.

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  1. Nice! Hehe I remember your last encounter with poison ivy, glad you skipped it this time 😍

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