Anderson Lake

First glimpse of Anderson Lake
First glimpse of Anderson Lake

Looking for solitude? Well this is your place!

Diminutive Anderson Lake lies at the end of the abandoned and little known Dog Mountain trail. While only a few hundred feet down the road from the more popular Bare Mountain trailhead, the Dog Mountain trail sees very few hikers over the course of the season.

Who cut these logs?
Who cut these logs?

The trail is rough, muddy and sometimes difficult to follow, and so far as I’ve determined, doesn’t lead to the summit of Dog Mountain.

However it is quite beautiful and provides great views of the area especially in the upper portions as you amble across bare rock slabs and alpine meadows.


Distance: 9mi± RT

Elevation gain: 3500’±

Other people you will likely see:


The trail starts out at an abandoned bridge. It’s deck is sturdy enough to walk on, but has some very large holes. Don’t fall.

View of Pt.5312
View of Pt.5312

The journey continues along a derelict road grade, crossing two more bridges before gradually climbing up to the original trail.

Occasionally you will see remnants of the trail infrastructure; decaying puncheon, rock retaining walls and well graded footpath. Strangely some of the more recent deadfalls have been cut and cleared, but by whom…it’s anybody’s guess.

Much of the trail is overgrown, rough hewn and steadily eroding.

When you reach the higher sections of trail you are traveling through a beautiful basin of low growing conifers, alpine meadows and wide rock slabs. During the early melt these slabs are like wide and lazy waterfalls.

Trail through the meadows
Trail through the meadows

It’s easy to lose the way as you cross the slabs, but there are a few cairns to look for at the time of this writing. When in doubt continue in an easterly direction. After the slabs the trail is easier to pick up in the heather.

Dog Ridge looming
Dog Ridge looming

You’ll eventually climb up to a gap in the steep ridge that until now was not visible. Here you will get your first sight of Anderson Lake down below. Also you will get an interesting view of the Middle Fork Valley and it’s peaks; Treen, Garfield, Preacher, even Kaleetan and Chair in the distance.

At the time of this writing there is some flagging soon after you flip flop the ridge via the gap. To your right is the way to Anderson Lake, down below is the way up to Pt.5312 (or so I think it’s called).


Heading right you’ll pass talus and steep cliffs above you. The trail is often undefined here, but continue on. Eventually you will reach an old downed log. The “trail” seems to continue past here, but terminates shortly thereafter.

You’ll find yourself standing above a steep-ish, but easy enough to descend talus slope leading right to the lake’s shore. Make your way down and you’re there!

On a hot summer day this is an excellent place for swimming. It’s shallow enough to warm up so as to not freeze your, uh, parts off, but stays cool enough to refresh.

Also, because it’s so secluded it makes a great place for skinny dipping!

Nice soaking rocks
Nice soaking rocks

There exist a couple of primitive campsites around the lake if you’d like to spend the evening.

At the south side of the lake is a boulder field that offers a mostly unobstructed view of the Middle Fork Valley and points beyond.


I didn’t try fishing during my visit, but also did not see any fish activity. If you were to ask me, I’d wager there are no fish in this lake.


All in all I’d suggest this trip for anyone who seeks seclusion in the mountains. I can almost guarantee you will not see another human being out here, even on the weekend.

Looking toward the gap
Looking toward the gap

During the right season blueberries are abundant, and wildflowers abound. Great views are frequent and there are even some impressive old growth specimens along the way.

Anyway, as always, leave it better than you found it, pack it in, pack it out and pack out any other jerkoff’s crap you might find.

Happy Trails!

Decaying puncheon
Decaying puncheon





Looking for one thing, finding another…

Now only carries foot traffic
Now only carries foot traffic

Had the day off today so I decided to head off into the hills in search of an old mine site I’ve been interested in locating known as “The Devil’s Canyon Claims”.

I’ve poked and prodded a little around the area before, in search of the same thing, however that time my search was seriously hampered by snow on the ground and even more coming from the sky.

Conveniently melted...
Conveniently melted…

This time there was only traces of snow where before there was a solid foot, at least near the valley floor.

I headed up an abandoned road toward the Cougar Creek drainage which is where Devil’s Canyon lies.

The main road/trail hits a distinct fork not too far in, at this time it is marked by the remains of a campfire. The logical way is to continue along the more clear path, which is what I did. The other path, or abandoned road I should say, is very overgrown by scrub alder, and according to old maps, terminates some distance away, around the headwaters of Lennox Creek.

Might be worth a bushwhack someday….


The road-less-overgrown steadily devolves into a trail the higher you get. I imagine there would be some views opening up around here, if today wasn’t socked in with clouds and a now light, but steady stream of snowflakes.

I just happened to notice the remnants of a Forest Service “Entering Wilderness” sign as I made my way up, interestingly it’s old enough that is says “Snoqualmie National Forest” rather than “Mt.Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest”.

Seeing this I got excited, I love finding abandoned trails!

I followed it up and up, the snow steadily getting deeper, obscuring the already decaying trail.

Aside from the sheer curiosity of wondering where in the hell this trail was going, I oughta mention that there is a surprising abundance of old growth here that kept me heading up, kinda like a rabbit chasing a carrot on a string.

Big honkin' Cedar
Big honkin’ Cedar

Eventually the snow became deep enough to completely eradicate any semblance of trail, and compounded with the lack of visibility and not quite knowing exactly where I was, I decided to turn around.

Getting home and consulting the internet, DWHM#1 and the USGS Lake Philippa 7.5, all the pieces came together.

So the trail turned out to be the abandoned Dog Mountain Trail, which passes near Devil’s Canyon, and down below most certainly was the Cougar Creek drainage.

Considering today’s conditions, it would have been a pretty tall order to find my quarry, however it was a day well spent nonetheless.

Multiple trips make an area far more familiar, and also I find, sort of help “gel” the spatial relationships in a set area together in the navigation/homing center of my brain.

I’ll be back later, when the snows have melted as there are far more mining sites to locate in and around this drainage.

Happy Trails

Snow in the big trees
Snow in the big trees