Dewey Lakes Trail System

After rain the night before we were overjoyed to wake to a lake so calm it became an impressionist painting of the hillside above, disturbed only by fish jumping.  For backpackers, the sites around Lower Dewey Lake are an ideal base camp.  From Lower Dewey Lake the trails go up the mountain to Upper Dewey Lake and Devil's Punch Bowl, to the right toward Sturgillís Landing and to the left for Icy Lake and Reid Falls.  Claimjumper and I were the only people camped up there so we had our choice of spots.

To find the trails  from the small boat harbor take Congress Way (the only road) toward town.  As you cross the railroad tracks turn right and follow the tracks about 80 yards.  Look to the right on the other side of the tracks for a large sign for the Dewey Lake trails going up the hill.  At this sign grab a map of the trail system.    It is a service road and the trail breaks to the right at a staircase that takes one underneath a water pipeline.  The climb is steep but fairly easy.  We gained five hundred feet in less than a mile.  With our packs it took us just under an hour to get to the camp sites.

There are not much to the camp sites.  Just flat areas to pitch tents.  Look around the edge of the lake to find picnic tables and places to make fires.  There are a few extremely primitive outhouses along the trail.  There is no charge to camp here.  Lower Dewey Lake is swimable and offered bathing opportunities that Claimjumper felt I really could not afford to pass up.

The forest is very well trailed.  Be careful to follow the signs and arrows to help you pick the correct trails.  Blue and silver arrows led us both to Lower Dewey Lake and to Reid Falls. 

Reid Falls

After breakfast, Claimjumper and I headed back to the left (when facing up the mountain) along the lake until we found the sign indicating the trail to Reid Falls.  There is not much elevation gain as the trail stays along the same bench on which Lower Dewey Lake rests.  The trail crossed bridges over streams and followed a wooded path over to Icy Lake.  On the far side of the lake the trail dropped into the dry river bed that created a nice wide path.  The trail continued along the water pipeline.  Claimjumper found exposed portions of the old pipeline made out of  wood slats and bound together with steel wire.  The pipeline looked like someone had tried to replace the wooden pipes with metal pipes rather recently, but it did not appear to be in use at all.  The pipeline runs right to the end of the trail at Reid Falls.  Walk through the building at the top for the best views of the falls.

Avoid taking the trail that leads down to an outcropping of trees that overlooks the falls.  It is way too dangerous and the views of the falls are not very good.

It took us about an hour and forty five minutes one way to the falls.  We stopped along the way to take pictures and admire the biota and old pipeline. 

Last Visited: July 2000





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