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Wind Rivers 1997
Dickinson Park to Cirque of the Towers

Visit to Deep Lakes Basin

Thursday, August 21   We started out this morning with another thunderstorm. At 3 am, the moon had been out. By 4 am, it was raining like crazy. It rained on and off until 7:15 am, but by 7:30, we were treated to blue skies. Go figure. Anyway, it was another leisurely morning, since we really did not have any firm objective. Susie and I decided we would shoot for the Deep Creek Lakes, since, when we had camped five years ago in Ice Lakes Basin, we had really been too busy fishing with Erin (our daughter who was 12 at the time) and sightseeing to really get a good look at the former. BJ, Barbara, and Ray hiked up the Baer Lakes valley with us, but their goal was to make it to the spot where Susie, Erin, and I had camped in 92, at Boot Lake. As we hiked up the valley, I wondered why we had decided not to come up to these lakes (the Baer lakes). They were nestled in a very pretty valley, and the views were much better than those from our unnamed lake. As we got to the saddle overlooking the Deep Creek Lakes, the rest of the crew took off, and Susie and I were left to ourselves. We dropped down to the trail coming over from the Pinto Park trail, and we were finally on un-new ground. That is, we had hiked on this spot before (in 92). We decided we would skirt the south shore of Lower Deep Creek Lake, mainly because the wild flowers were just awesome. Pink Elephant Heads, Paintbrush, white Columbine, etc etc. A super display. We then crossed a snowfield with a pretty shallow pitch to it (albeit carefully, since there seemed little to be gained by sliding down into the lake) and arrived to the lower end of Middle Deep Creek lake. We lunched in the shelter of some rocks, and spent a lot of time just staring up at the gently sloped plateau that separates the two (Deep Creek from Ice Lakes) basins. We recalled eating lunch five years ago near a pile of rocks on the plateau that was visible from where we were standing.

It was time to turn around, and we traversed around the north side of Lower Deep Creek Lake (it was tougher than the south side) and headed back up to the saddle near the Echo Lakes. As we passed East Echo, it was possible to see tons of fish in the lake, probably just due to the way that the light was hitting the water. We were back in camp by 3 pm, and after a bath, we decided to erect a tarp, since another shower was threatening. Well, it did shower a few drops, but the sun soon was back out: just another late afternoon moisture enhancer. Dinner was Pesto Pasta and freeze dried chicken with Parmesan cheese, cocoa and chocolate. We hiked around part of the lake, found a fire ring at a more heavily used spot near the lake's inlet, and burned some of our trash. Since it was so great last night, we decided an encore of the jumping fish would do just fine for the evening's distraction.

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Roger A. Jenkins, 2001