Side trip: Squitch Lake


Amber Jurgensen photo

Finally we were on the way back to the trailhead. Or maybe not.

Everybody but me was excited to see Squitch Lake. I warned that it was much more marsh than lake, but that didn't seem to dampen any enthusiasm. If there was another lake to be seen, just 1/3 mile off-trail, it had to be seen. So, a short distance downhill from the Trail Creek junction, behind an oversize section of log nicknamed "the tootsie roll log," we located another piece of abandoned trail — actually, it was a continuation of the same historic abandoned trail that we had followed up the hill. From there, we half walked, half waded, to reach Squitch.

This lake was everything I had promised, particularly with respect to swampy. But it also had some nice surprises. It had lots of berries — that made me very happy. It also had many, many frogs. More frogs than we would have thought possible. We had been seeing tiny frogs, hopping across the trail at the most unlikely of places, and now we knew where they were coming from. Sizes ranged from tadpoles to moderately large. Based on the density of frogs we saw nearby, and the acreage of swampy wetland we could see, we estimated that there had to be at least a quarter million frogs in this one tiny lake. Frogs can make even the most miserable lake a lot better. With so many frogs around — no bugs!