Revisiting Babyfoot Lake

It’s been a little while since I went to Babyfoot Lake in the Kalmiopsis for my first backpacking trip. Since there were some pretty serious fires rolling through the area this summer, I was curious and nervous to see what I might find. The area had already suffered when the Biscuit Fire hit in 2002 and the plants had been making some strides toward rejuvenation and recovery, so I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a happy hike or a bittersweet one.


From the Babyfoot Lake trailhead

I looked at the weather forecast before I left civilization and figured that I had about 6 or 7 hours until the weather got ugly. However, pretty much right from the start, there were ominous grey clouds building in the sky. I headed down to Babyfoot Lake first, where it didn’t seem like the fire had reached this summer.


From the north shore of Babyfoot Lake looking up at the rim I was about to climb

After spending some time near the lake (and tolerating Grace rolling in poop…twice), I doubled back and started my ascent up the Kalmiopsis Rim Trail. My goal was to make it to the top of the ridge and over to Canyon Peak. I calculated that it would be about 4 miles out and 4 back, but I wasn’t sure what I would actually be able to pull off.


Above Babyfoot Lake looking down


Another from above Babyfoot

The higher I climbed, the more the wind roared above me, sounding like a jet plane. I knew that the bad weather was hitting a bit sooner than the forecast showed, but apart from little sprinkles that were on and off, it was tolerable. I wanted to at least get to a prominent overlook from high up.


The first major signs of a recent fire. This was still on the rim right above Babyfoot


View to the southwest


Canyon Peak looks closer than two miles away



More burn zone from Chetco Bar fire

The weather started to get kinda crazy and sleeted on me for a few minutes. I had trouble finding the trail through the burn zone (though I think I just had to keep going downhill to a road) and I didn’t want to die on the mountain, so I turned around. The sleet didn’t last long, but it was probably for the best that I had turned back when I did. When I got back to my car, I found a faint, but pretty rainbow had formed.


If you’re interested in the stats and map from this hike, here they are:

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 9.52.33 PM

5.64 miles total, 1217 ft elevation gain, 2 hours 39 mins — still miles away from my goal 😦

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s