Hike down into Walton Lakes, Idaho

Two hikes in a row have started a hefty downhill, which the end of the day is uphill (shaking a fist at the gods). From a ridge near Tom Beal Park, you descend nearly 1000 feet to the first lake of the Walton Lakes. The trail is generally in great shape. The huckleberries were abundant and fat…I know this because Vida ate several pounds of the purple things.

Now let’s talk about idiots. As we made our way along the shoreline of the first lake, we came across the campsite of a family. They were chopping down a tree and amassing a huge pile of firewood in a ring. I informed them gently about the current open fire restrictions as we are under an extreme threat of wildfire during the current drought. The father feigned understanding and immediately how long we were going to be around. That asshole was going to definitely light that campfire. Once again my theory that most people are idiots is confirmed.

Total distance: 7.81 mi
Max elevation: 7119 ft
Download
Looking down from the ridge above Walton Lakes

Looking down from the ridge above Walton Lakes

Vida heading down the trail

Vida heading down the trail

Huckleberries thick on the bush

Huckleberries thick on the bush

Huckleberries think in the hand

Huckleberries think in the hand

Switchbacking across the steep face

Switchbacking across the steep face

Meadow before reaching the first lake

Meadow before reaching the first lake

The lower of the two Walton Lakes

The lower of the two Walton Lakes

Vida taking her meditative moment...or is she just resting?

Vida taking her meditative moment…or is she just resting?

Meadows surround the southern edge of the lower Walton Lake

Meadows surround the southern edge of the lower Walton Lake

The lakes lay in granite basins

The lakes lay in granite basins

Even with the drought, there were patches of lush vegetation

Even with the drought, there were patches of lush vegetation

The outlet of the lower Walton Lake

The outlet of the lower Walton Lake

Upper Walton Lake is remarkably clear

Upper Walton Lake is remarkably clear

Vida getting ready for the return hike

Vida getting ready for the return hike

 

Last pitch to the ridge

Last pitch to the ridge

The Moose, Mooses? or Meese?

Driving home, we crossed over Lolo Pass and near the Fish Creek road, we spied a cow moose in the meadow. She was licking at the salty mud. Then, her calf joined her. We spent several minutes watching the pair as they met their daily sodium intake requirements.

Cow Moose licking some salt

Cow Moose licking some salt

Then, her calf joined her

Then, her calf joined her

A face only a mother (and I) could love

A face only a mother (and I) could love

Any time spent with moose, especially with calf, is awesome

Any time spent with moose, especially with calf, is awesome

Written by Radd Icenoggle

I am a native Montanan, who has spent a lifetime as an outdoors and wildlife enthusiast. I earned a degree in biology with an emphasis on habitat relations. During my studies, I had the great fortune to research and compose a thesis that explored the effects of slope aspect on...
Read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *