Left: View of Lake Valhalla from the Pacific Crest Trail; Right: View of Lichtenberg Mountain from the Pacific Crest Trail.
In Norse mythology, Valhalla is a majestic hall where some of those that die in combat go. On this particular day, we didn’t see many combat heroes or really much of anybody at the lake. We barely made it to the lake ourselves as the snow (from a previous week’s storm) was bit more than we were prepared for. We didn’t even get to have lunch by the lake because we couldn’t easily reach it. We ended up sitting under a large tree, away from the shore, that offered a bit of snow-free aread where we could easily spread out for lunch.
For the first 1/3 of this hike, you hear Route 2 which reduces the magic of the hike a bit. On the plus side, it was nice to get a chance to hike a piece of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). I guess if we had hiked the trail, starting at the border of Mexico (like one man we met on our way back to the car), then, maybe “Valhalla” would have have a more poetic ring.
Speaking of PCT, we wondered why most people (or at least our sense is that most people) hike north on that Pacific Crest Trail. This article on Francis Tapon suggests that most people in fact do go north (“nobos”), but that there are benefits of going south (“sobos”).
In terms of flora, today’s hike seemed to be all about mushrooms, all colors and sizes and often peaking their heads out form the recent snow.
Length: 11.6 miles
Duration: ~ 6 hours; we left the trailhead at 8:45 am and returned at 3:00 pm.
Elevation: Cumulative gain of 1,500 feet; we started 4,040 feet, peaked 5,050 feet.
Location: Central Cascades -- Stevens Pass – West/
Notes: Our 9th hike of the season. Our total miles this season, including this hike, 106.9 miles.