60 – Rosario Head and Pass Lake Trails

With time remaining to sneak in even a few more hikes before the big six-O rolls around, the Rosario Bay and Pass Lake Loop trails mark my sixtieth hike. Goal met! Will this be it for hiking for me? Of course not! I have always been a hiker, and while the goal of completing sixty hikes between the first of Jaunary and my sixtieth birthday on June 10th set the pace for a rather ambitious number of hikes to be completed in a relatively short, six-month period, I really enjoyed having that extra motivation to keep me out there on the trails. It’s late Spring here in the Pacific Northwest and the snow is melting from our mountains. Very soon, we will have access to an entirely new world of beautiful trails and we’re digging out the backpacking and camping gear so we will be ready. Stay tuned, there will definitely be more hiking!

Along the trail . . .

Now back to Rosario Bay and Pass Lake. All part of Deception Pass State Park, we began this hike at Bowman Bay with a quick tour of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) – Interpretive Center at the CCC camp. A tribute to the young men stationed at Deception Pass during this depression-era program, they learned valuable life skills as they built the structures, trails and campgrounds at Deception Pass State Park and earned enough wages to help support their families back home.

Display at CCC Interpretive Center at Bowman Bay

I have began hikes from Bowman Bay before – to Lighthouse and Lottie Points  (go here, https://60before60.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/18-lighthouse-and-lottie-points/ – to read about that hike), but this time I headed in the other direction – to Rosario Bay. Climbing the Rosario Head Trail along the hillside on the west side of Bowman Bay, we set off for Rosario Beach.

Rosario Head Trail . . .

Tide pools are always fun to explore, so even when the tide is not out very far, once on Rosario Beach, we followed the Tide Pool Trail. Do you notice the yellow rope that he is following in this picture? You see, this is a popular beach and in the late 1990’s during an extreme low tide, over 1,200 visitors trampled the tide pools causing significant damage to the intertidal life – some of which has not yet recovered. To minimize future damage, the yellow rope indicates a trail where visitors can now walk.

Once we explored the tide pools and followed a trail along the bluffs over Rosario Bay, we paused at the dock there before heading back to Bowman Bay.

Dock at Rosario Bay . . .

Next we headed to nearby Pass Lake.

Pointing out fish in Pass Lake . . .

The Pass Lake Loop Trail took us through the forest. On the map, the trail looked as if it might be close to the shoreline of the lake, but, unfortunately, it was not, and the forest thick so we barely even saw the lake. At least it was a beautiful forest!

Along the Pass Lake Loop Trail . . .

The map also showed that the trail exited Deception Pass State Park lands as it passed through a small section of private land before it looped back into the park. You can imagine our surprise as the trail immediately dumped us into a recent clear-cut logging operation once we entered that private land.

Trail ends abruptly in a clear-cut logging operation

Reminding me of the waste lands where gunslinger Roland Deschain of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series had perhaps passed, we climbed over logs as we walked through the rubble and around the huge stacks of logs as we worked our way to the other side of the property in our effort to once again find our trail.

Walking through the clear-cut logging area . . .

Finding a muddy logging road once we reached the other side of the logging operation, we scoured the forest for signs of our trail.

Searching for the trail . . .

We were not successful in our search for the trial, so ended up following the logging road, figuring it would lead us back to the main highway and we could walk back to the lake from there.

Following the logging road . . .

Just before the main highway, there it was – our trail!

Finding the trail near the main highway . . . along the logging road

So that was it, my sixtieth hike – and I can hardly wait to get back out on the trails again!

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