Ancient Lake Overnight

Ancient Lake Time Traveler

On Friday the 22nd of April 2011, I drove to Eastern Washington after work to do a micro backpacking trip at Ancient Lake near Quincy. Ancient Lake is about 20 miles or so from the Gorge Amphitheater.

The trail itself is only a couple miles and its a good thing because I didn't arrive until almost sunset. I packed a couple duraflame logs in for a fire and my neighbors decided to join me since it was getting cold quickly. I used the darkness to practice some night photography of the stars. I see that I still need to work on my technique and figure out the best camera settings, but it wasn't all bad.

The temperature dropped from 60 degrees to around 34 degrees during the night. Cold but not unbearable. In the morning I quickly had breakfast and packed my gear and hiked out. I was back home by 2 PM on Saturday.

I hope to backpack Ancient Lake again this fall as a sponsored trip for the Peninsula Wilderness Club as a few members have expressed interest in staying a couple nights here. There is a nice little loop that can be done that is about 10 miles long and lots of neat little areas to explore. It is a pretty nice place to camp.

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Time lapse stack - Ancient Lake - 50 image stack created with Lightroom and Enfuse plugin.

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My camp site at Ancient Lake


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I arrived just before sundown and set up camp at Ancient Lake. I packed a duraflame log because I knew there would be virtually no firewood in the area and I wanted a fire. I had a fairly secluded spot with no one around when I set up camp. Four ladies came stumbling into my camp area shortly after I got set up and well after sunset so I shared my fire with them.
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My camp spot the next morning.

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At the overlook near Vantage

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4 thoughts on “Ancient Lake Overnight

  • June 11, 2011 at 1:25 am

    I plan on going here next weekend to camp for the night. Would you recommend any specific supplies? Also, how is the wind there? Will my basic tent hold up?

    • June 11, 2011 at 7:52 am

      Hi Matt, as with any Gorge destination, you should be prepared for a little wind, but I would think a basic tent would be fine. I would pack plenty of water. The whole area is fed by irrigation runoff so I’m not sure how good the water is. Since the hike in is only a couple of miles, you shouldn’t have much trouble packing a little extra.

  • May 25, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Amazing pictures. I was curious about whether you need a specific pass (beyond the Discover pass) to camp there overnight. Also, what are the rules regarding fires?

    • May 25, 2012 at 10:02 am

      Used to be you had to display a fish and wildlife parking pass but the Discover Pass covers that now. I think you can use either.

      Regarding the fires, I’m not sure what the specific rules are. I never saw anything saying you couldn’t have one. There were several people camped in the area and I saw maybe 3 or 4 other groups with small fires. I think later in the summer after it drys out, a fire would probably not be the best idea.


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