East of the Lake Chelan trench rises the craggy Sawtooth Range. Although they carry the same name as the more famous mountains in Idaho, these peaks are much less crowded. Protected by the moisture-loving ranges to the west, these drier mountains feature open forests and beautiful meadows that provide endless vistas of distant peaks. Small lakes tucked beneath scenic crags compete for attention with flower-covered meadows and ridges.
From the Crater Creek trailhead your trail starts on a
dusty motorcycle expressway through typical eastside forests of ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, Engelmann spruce, and western white pine. The path climbs gently for a while and then contours to a junction beside Crater Creek. A nice hiker-only trail turns right here and climbs beside this creek to the shores of lovely lower Crater Lake. Your route goes straight as you hop across the creek and resume your long, gradual climb in semi-open woods, with occasional views to the dry hills of eastern Washington.
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