7.83 miles.801ft gain/1508ft loss.
Gotta get out to watch the Seahawks play! Needless to say, we kind of hurried through the morning routines of gathering water, having a coffee, and eating, so we could get back into town in time to see the game! Packing, we headed out a slightly different way, hoping for some variety to curb the monotony of a trail through the trees. So, we turn right at the trailhead out of the lake, instead of left, and head east along the lake.
“…we see 3 other white heads poke up…”
It’s a nice, gradual downhill, past the end of the lake, through the forest, to our first trail junction, at 1.2 miles. Here, it joins up with trail #1106, the Cramer Lake trail, and we turn right. We can hear running water, perhaps the first stream we’ve crossed in a long time, and it’s surprising, seeing as how flat it is around here. It runs under the trail to a huge, marshy meadow, filled with yellowing grass, something you would expect to see large herds of elk in. The trail follows the edge of the meadow all the way to Cramer Lake, which sits at the end of the meadow. “Look, there!” Greg points at a large animal standing in the meadow, dark brown, and at first glance it looks like the elk we expect to see, but as we reach for cameras, we see 3 other white heads poke up. Upon closer inspection, it’s a group of Llamas. Obviously, someone has packed into Cramer Lake.
We cross the bridge that leads to the lake, but there are several tents here at the north end of the lake, so we don’t want to traipse through their tent sites to the banks. Instead, we can see it through the trees, and it’s just another round oblong lake. Looks like it might have fish in it, as well. From the lake, it’s another 3.6 miles steadily downhill through forest to our cut-off on the Dark Meadow Trail. Now, it’s back uphill to the parking lot where we parked our car across highway 12. The trail is so easy, that we make great time, and load up to head for home!
This would be a great hike for beginners, as the terrain is mostly flat, and forgiving, and if you’re into fishing, there would be many days one could spend along the banks casting to your hearts content!!!