Derrick Lake is great, it was all bushwhacking to the lake shore.
If you are looking for solitude this is the place.
I did not see another soul for the 3 days I was there. There is an easy
way to get here and a hard way. I choose the hard way, bushwhacking up the
outlet creek from the North Fork of the Snoqualmie River.
If your heading to Derrick Lake the easy route would probably be via Snow lake and on down. My route I scrambled up a ridge,
slid down a few cliffs and then meandered around until I came across the lake ( 8+ hour scramble, I ended up spending the night on a ridge nearby
and enjoyed a great view of the sun setting, before I could get into the lake
basin). On my way out I headed down the Derrick Lake outlet, Cripple Creek, (2 hours, easier
then going up) if your wondering which creek to follow up it is a big one just
down form the parking lot, I parked at a Dingford Creek trailhead for a Hester/Myrtle
Lakes. Going down the outlet was a little rough and there is one waterfall in a gorge type setting you have to
navigate down or up depending on if your coming or going. (You may what to take 20 or so feet of
rope, to help you get up it or to help get your backpack and gear up it)
The views are great once you get out of the trees. The only
way I knew someone else had been here was a newspaper from 1993, slightly
weathered. I enjoyed some great fishing, and sun bathing in the ole' Explorer'
2 man raft.
If you enjoy bushwhacking and solitude
Derrick Lake is a great place.
Which ever way you go it will be worth it.
The lake and the surroundings are awesome and the
fishing--- out of this
Fishing was like an old wise tail--every lure I put on I ended
up catching a fish. It was truly a remarkable experience.
Do it again? Yes,
We tried it
again in Oct 2001-
We parked at the Dingford Creek
Trailhead and headed down the
trail to the Snoqualmie River
crossed the bridge and then
headed west on the trail to
Cripple Creek. (If you cross
the Cripple Creek bridge and
about 80 yards further is a nice
trail branching off, it will
take you all the way to the
falls). We did not find this
trail until our way out, so we
spent the morning bushwhacking
up the left side of Cripple
Creek to the waterfalls--a bit
tougher! We scaled the rock
walls to the ridge near Elbow
Lake we could look across at
Lower Derrick Lake and see the
all of the new snowfall -we ran
out of time before we could
round the rock face to drop into
the lakes basin...darn it. We
had a great time bushwhacking
and rock scrambling in some
beautiful country--my little
chesapeake bay retriever did
awesome--we had to navigate 10
inch wide rock ledges with
50+foot complete drop offs- to
crossing the logs across the
creek - to scrambling down dried
up creek drainages that had some
knarly vertical sections.
We headed up to the Dutch Miller
Gap trailhead to see how the
road was doing. The road is
still a bit rough and some of
the water troughs are 30-40 feet
long and 18+ inches deep.. no
sweet in the ole Toyota PU. We
did have to clean off the road
in the last section, a 24 inch
dia. log and some boulders had
managed to find a resting place
in the middle of the road.
No one else was out hiking
this day on the Middle Fork--it
may have been that it was
raining all day and the wind was
howling--maybe that was it.
There is not a
trail to these lakes, it may be a dangerous
adventure if you are not an experienced
backcountry nut and/or don't have the