So, I couldn’t get my friend to go backpacking with me this past weekend, so I went solo – my first!  I wondered if I would be too freaked out to have a good time. It turned out I was very comfortable alone and except for the bear I met on the trail, I was not worried.

Baker river trail and baker lake trail sign

Baker river trail and baker lake trail sign

The forest was incredibly beautiful; some of the trees on this trail were huge – 8 to 10 feet in diameter. I could hear at least 3 different bird song. In the evening I could hear Loons calling; it was hauntingly beautiful.

Portion of the trail without shoulder high brush!

Portion of the trail without shoulder high brush!

The trail was 4.5 miles to Noisy Creek campsite on Baker Lake. 

One of the more complex bridges on this trail

One of the more complex bridges on this trail

There were many streams and rivers crossing the trail – the larger ones had bridges for crossing, and the the smaller had to be crossed by trying to walk on rocks people had tossed in for stepping stones. Unfortunately, the water was flowing over the rocks, so my boots got pretty wet, not to mention all the water that cascaded onto me from the wet brush along the trail.

One of many streams crossing trail

One of many streams crossing trail

The floor of the forest was covered with a green carpet of moss; every downed tree, rock and stump.  The brush – most of which was composed of  huckleberry bushes, salmon berry and other berry bushes covered the trail in many places and was about shoulder-high. On my hike out, there were two young forest service employees with big weed-eaters cutting this stuff down. 

One quarter dome tent

One quarter dome tent

I met the bear on my way in – about an hour and a half up the trail. I had seen his paw prints in the muddy parts of the trail, and was a bit worried, but whistled as I went along, to let any bears around know there was a human on the trail. I’m glad they take that as a signal to take off, because it could mean “here is lunch”.  

Rainbow over Baker lake

Rainbow over Baker lake

When I spotted the bear, he dropped down on all fours and took off at a good clip, heading away from me, for which I was very grateful. It would have been impossible for me to get off the trail to get out of his way, due to the trail being on a steep slope and with everything covered with such thick moss you couldn’t tell if you were walking on anything substantial or stepping between rocks and fallen branches. I’d have broken a leg in 3 steps, I’m sure. Without the maintained trail it would be impossible to travel through the area.

Baker River in the rain on hike out

Baker River in the rain on hike out

Hamster report

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