Hike: Lake Margaret (False Trailhead), WA
Imagine you finish a hike and then realize you were on the wrong trail the entire time! Well, that’s what we did last weekend. Our mistake was not reading the sign in the parking area but charging off on what looked like a significant trail leading from the “Margaret Lake Trail Parking Area.”
We were a bit surprised the trail was overgrown, but we happily plodded along, enchanted by all the wildflowers including the exotic tiger lily which we saw in abundance on the first mile of the trail.
We also had some spectacular views of Mt Rainier from the trail (which had been promised in the guidebook we had read prior to the hike).
We grew a bit suspicious however, at about 2 miles out when the trail disappeared into a field of boulders. We tried to find a way around through the dense forest, but there was no clear path, and we decided the worst outcome of the day would be to get lost and have to call in the volunteers from Mountain Rescue. So we turned around and had a philosophical discussion about the real goals of hiking (not the lake at the end of the trail but the experience of being outdoors and getting exercise, clean air, and the thrill of walking through fields of flowers).
Coming back slowly also gave us a chance to get great photos of the stunning bear grass in full bloom.
We even had time to watch orange butterflies flitting among the orange agoseris (mountain daisies)
As we got back to the car and located the “right” trailhead up the gravel road from the parking lot, my sister, Ms Optimistic, declared, “this means we can do Lake Margaret again!”