Ancient Lakes

I’ve been spending more time out in Central Washington lately, and it reminds me of my trip to the Sasquatch Music Festival a couple years ago which is held in this area at the Gorge Amphitheater near Quincy WA, and is one of the most beautiful venues I’ve ever been to. Most of what I remember from that trip was that there was only one place in town to get a vegetarian lunch (THE GRAINERY), and that it was near a town named George WA, which I thought was really clever of them. Oh, and Jade reminded me that we were approached by a woman in the one grocery store telling us pretty aggressively which cookies were the best from the bakery (COWBOY COOKIES) and that she was right (they were delicious).

Recently I was looking up things to do in Central Washington and saw the town Quincy coming up again and again for its lakes, which are in a coulee left over from the Missoula floods (another buzzword in Central Washington). I decided it would be fun to go say hello to Quincy again, check it out and maybe get a veggie panini and some cowboy cookies while I was in town. George had also been to Sasquatch a few years before me but hadn’t found the Grainery so I brought him along too.

DSC_0099The wording on the signs was confusing, as it seemed like there was a “Quincy Lakes” and “Ancient Lake” and “Ancient Lakes” and “Quincy Ancient Lakes” all referenced at some point. My piecing together of it was that there are a grouping of around 10 lakes referred to as “Quincy Lakes” and one of the lakes in that grouping was named “Quincy Lake” and another was named “Ancient Lake.” These are all very close to the Columbia River, the Columbia River Gorge and the Gorge Amphitheater. There was a part of the lake cluster that you could drive up to, so we went there first.

DSC_0109It seems like a destination mostly for fishing, but I talked to a local who said that in the summer people will also swim, camp, and grill all day. There was also a boat launch on one of the lakes.

DSC_0116 DSC_0127There were more large bugs than I’d expected, including these huge dragonflies (that one flew into my car and got stuck upside down).

There is another way to access Ancient Lake specifically, which doesn’t seem to be approachable other than by hiking in. We parked near the unmarked trailhead and walked along the top of the Gorge down the trail.

DSC_0124DSC_0111Overall it was really beautiful. The hike is around 8 miles round trip, and we made the mistake of arriving too late in the day and taking the wrong turn at the fork in the trail so spent a lot of time in a mini coulee before watching the sunset over the top of the gorge and heading back.

DSC_0132DSC_0133It was fun, and I hope to make it back, although the weather is starting to get a little too cold for any outdoor activities involving water. Maybe I will just journey back for the snacks!