Gillette Lake and Greenleaf Creek
Hiked: Jan. 4, 2019
Elev. Gain: 850 feetsies
A little blue marble dropped in a valley on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, Lake Gillette (aka Shaving Cream Lake, aka Speaking Out About Toxic Masculinity Lake…see what I did there, topical!) is a pristine little jewel of a watering hole. Even with the rumble of logging trucks on the ridge overhead, it still feels off the beaten path with clear water too blue to be real.
But it is.
The way to Lake Gillette begins at a trailhead where we were immediately greeted with this lovely sign:
Aggie and Charlotte weren’t bothered by the lack of facilities, since the WORLD is their facilities.
The trail leading to the lake threads across logging roads, most of them rarely or never used. It’s also part of the PCT, a little hiking jaunt made famous by Reese Witherspoon (I’m pretty sure.)
The views aren’t the most sweeping, but there are good glimpses of Hamilton Mountain, the Gorge, and Tabletop Mountain, a grueling hike (I hear) that Charlotte’s heart would have liked, but not her legs.
We were joined on the trail by intrepid adventurer, Gambit, the world’s most courageous blue heeler.
Everyone was decked out in color coordinated Outward Hound (free plug!) harnesses, which proved helpful when Charlotte got a little feisty with a nosy husky bounding along the trail.
After crossing the aforementioned logging road, we crested the ridge to the “worth it” moment of seeing that lake for the first time.
The eastern edge of the lake is fed by a stream that pours into the lake, and there are several campsites nestled along the stream.
Pushing past the lake to Greenleaf Creek, we passed a pond that is home to endangered turtles according to the guide, so we left it alone.
Great finds for the hike include: stumps and a newt.
This was a hike that was meant to be. The forecasted rain held off, the trail was quiet, and the water was watery. Score for the water doggos.
Four out of all four of our paws!