Did hike number 66 from 100 Hikes in Southern Oregon & N. Cal last week, May 31st. This hike is a 8 mile out and back on the PCT in the Red Buttes Wilderness area. The trail passes by Echo lake and ends at Lilly Pad lake. There was a fire in this area in 2017. The burnt area is mostly in the first mile or so and doesn’t effect the quality of this hike much. I really enjoyed this hike. I was the only car at the trail head when I arrived and I didn’t see anyone else until I arrived back at my vehicle. The drive to the trail head wasn’t to bad and should be accessible to most vehicles as long as the weather is good. There’s a road that runs parallel to the PCT for most of this hike. The road isn’t visible through out the hole hike thankfully. You could hike the road back to your vehicle if you wanted but I don’t know why anyone would.
I enjoyed the beauty of this area. The lakes have an alpine feel to them and although the are is near roads it feels remote.
The most exciting part of this hike was seeing a bear. I was lucky enough to spot it in the valley just before Lilly Pad lake. I could see it but it couldn’t see or smell me so I was able to watch it rummage around. Seeing animals in the wild doing what they do is very rewarding to me. I only wish I had brought a real camera or binoculars. I only had my iPhone with me so its hard to see the bear in the video I took. Oh well, the view was great in person.
Elevation Gain 1467