Haven Lake is on Simpson / Solomon / Green Diamond land. I’ve been wondering how to get to Haven Lake for a while now, and I’ve tried to drive to it twice with no luck. Today I finally decided to really figure out where this lake was. I was feeling a bit out of sorts this morning, and I was not in much of a mood to hike today, but I had to go today if I was going to go at all this week, because my kids are on half days for the rest of the week.
I started my hike at the end of a dead end road off of the Simpson 800 line, outside of Matlock. I had been down this road before and I remembered that something on this road had abruptly turned me around. I forgot exactly what it was though.
|Old railroad tracks|
|abandoned train bridge|
This road is an old rail line, some rails are still there, with trees growing up between them and a well preserved rail bridge is still in place on this road.
As I approached what I knew was going to be the end of the road, I wondered what I would find. What was it that had forced me to turn around in that spot before? There was dirt mound blocking my view of what ever was at the end of the road. What was on the other side of this, I wondered to myself? Was it a sheer drop off? Was it a wall of forest?
|What is at the end of this road?|
Nope, it was neither of those things . So what did I find there?
I found helicopter landing pad. Yep, a helicopter landing pad. What a thing to find out in the middle of nowhere! The pad has not yet been used, I assume that when it is used it will be used to fly in a new bridge and then when the new bridge is installed the entire area will be clear-cut. Too bad, its a pretty forest here.
The helicopter pad was at an intersection with a big logging road, upon seeing that road I remembered, it was logging trucks rumbling up and down that road that turned me back at this spot before. There were no logging trucks out today, and the hills were silent other than the sounds of rain and gunfire, so I kept going down the road where I had been turned back before.
After a bit I realized I was not on the road that the GPS wanted me to be on, I was actually 700 feet (in elevation) below where the GPS thought I should be. I did not want to bushwhack up 700 feet of thick second growth forest, so I was not sure if I was going to make it to the lake on this route. But I kept going, because the road I was on was going the right direction, even if it was too low. In about ½ mile I found an intersection that headed straight up in the direction I needed to go to get to the lake.
|A snow plow has been here|
It was 3 miles to the lake and I was feeling a bit out of sorts, it was foggy and raining, I was surrounded by stumps , there were no views, and I kept thinking about the time my Jeep got hit by a logging truck not far from where I was parked today.
I knew I was on a main road and maybe another logging truck would come down the road, so I did not wear my MP3 player, because I needed to hear if any trucks were coming. So why didn’t I just drive down this gargantuan logging road? Because it’s locked off, like most of the other roads in the area. I don’t think that Simpson wants people out there playing at Haven Lake or on the South end of the Vance creek bridge. But it’s ok to hike out there.
After a few miles of slogging down the logging road in the fog, I reached the lake. Yay! I found the lake. The lake is pretty and it even has a couple of old growth trees on its shores. But, Bubba and friends have been to the lake so there was a lakeside campsite filled with broken glass, toilet paper and empty beer cans. Oh well, it was still a pretty lake. I sat near the lake and nibbled on my lunch while brewing a cup of tea. While I was eating the sun came out and I cheered up a little bit.
|Tree Grows out of Log in Middle of Lake. Carbon goes into tree, not air!|
|Dual culverts for the outlet stream|
|Campsite with Bubba signs|
After about 20 minutes, I headed back home without doing much exploring of the lake. The lakeshore was too steep to walk around.. On the way back the clouds started to part and I was startled by the views that I had missed on the way up. I found a really good view of the Vance Creek Bridge, the surrounding hills and the Skokomish Valley. Seeing this view cheered me up and made me want to come back and explore this area again. I sat at the view point for about 15 minutes, soaking up the views and taking pictures. As soon as I got up my right ankle flopped over fairly hard, and it still hurts.
|Looking down on the Vance Creek Bridge|
|Vance Creek Bridge, Clear-cut hill and Skokomish Valley|
6.5 miles with 700 feet elevation gain
|Old Growth Stump|