It always amazes me that only 2.5 hrs of driving can take you from grey and rain in Seattle to sunshine and blue skies in Eastern Washington’s desert. But it (almost) always works, and this past Tuesday was no exception.
Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance has a great topo map of nearly every trail in the Ancient Lakes/Potholes Coulee area, which made it possible for me to come up with a ~20 mile “loop” including Ancient Lakes, Dusty Lake, Cup Lake, and Spring Lakes, as well as the Gorge Ampitheater Trail. I ended up making a high-heeled shoe, an unintentional ode to the HHRG ladies!
The Evergreen MTB map is generally very accurate. There are a few places where things get a little fuzzy and the map doesn’t quite match what is on the ground – specifically near Cup Lake, and towards the southern end of the loop. You can see where I wandered around a bit near the toe of the shoe. I was right along the edge of a pasture and wasn’t sure the best way around it. I walked the fenceline as three dozen cows stared at me, mooing in alarm. I ended up just skirting the western edge of their pasture while they continued to moo loudly.
This is a fun loop that I highly recommend – just be sure to bring a sense of adventure, a good map, and GPS/compass. The way might not always be crystal clear, but the terrain is wide open and it’s easy to get a sense of where you are, especially with the lakes and coulees as landmarks. Feel free to message me if you’d like more details about my specific route. Or better yet, come up with a loop of your own!