Just after we crossed the Columbia River into Washington the storm clouds gathered. The first night, we were on an exposed mountain ridge completely in the clouds, everything turning wet around us. The morning brought rain that never stopped. The dense forest dripped huge drops on us. Everything is hard in a steady rain, eating lunch, eating a snack, just trying to take a break. It rained. It still rained when evening came and we had to set up the tent. You must keep the inside of the tent dry or you cannot stay outdoors long. Usually things do get pretty wet, but you can dry them the next day. The next day came with the same steady rain from the day before and the night. It is hard to break camp and keep things dry. The rain went on, all day, again into the evening and night. If tent and equipment are wet from the first day the second night is miserable: sleeping bags are getting wet from the wet tent, clothing is wet and cold; there is no refuge. There are three roads from the PCT to the little town of Trout Lake at PCT mile 2207, at 2222, and at 2237. Mile 2207 is a very hard hitch because it is a small, dirt road with little traffic, but thru-hikers were getting desperate for an exit to town. The third day of rain had soaked most tents and equipment, clothing was wet, there was no continuing. A small group got a ride at mile 2207 and arrived in Trout Lake looking more trout than human. The woman who runs the General Store saw them and said, here are the keys to my Toyota Tundra, go get the others who look as bad a you. The Toyota returned with 15 more drenched hikers. 30 hikers got down from the storm, but the town’s motels were already full from a wedding and other events. The town came to a full rescue. A phone tree found private homes who would take hikers. The Jonah Mission school opened its gym, its locker rooms, and the kitchen. They fixed meals, people brought food. A retired geneticist who lives in town took in 10 hikers on short notice and cooked them all burgers from beef he raises himself and then broke out several bottles of his own fruit brandies. The hikers learned this was no ordinary storm, records for rainfall had been broken, but they were now safe and could dry out. Everyone in Trout Lake was incredibly kind and helpful. The mission drove a 15 passenger van to mile 2237 and left the keys so thru-hikers still in the storm could gather and drive it to town. Trout Lake, Washington, has become part of PCT thru-hiker lore. Lynn and I did not know about this until tonight. We had passed PCT mile 2207 headed for 2237. From days of continuous rain on our “round the world” year long bike trip we worked out ways to keep a tent dry while setting it up or taking it down. The continuous days of rain were hard on us, but we continued to drip along at 20 miles a day. Twenty some of the Trout Lake refugees came back to the trail today and we are all gathered at a stream side camping spot, 18 tents, eating dinner and chatting. The stories of the many ways that the people of Trout Lake helped the hikers are going around. Lynn and I will join some others and take the Jonah Van into Trout Lake tomorrow. We got a room in town and just want to spend a day enjoying a town so hospitable to thru-hikers.– – – -
Posts tagged: PCT
Stop by Trout Lake, Washington for everything you need to enjoy your Pacific Crest Trail experience.
Trout Lake, Washington 98650, is a town of about 600 friendly people located 13 miles south of the PCT trail junction with FS Rd. 23 southwest of Mt. Adams. www.TroutLakeWashington.com. From the north, this junction is 2.8 trail miles after leaving Mt. Adams Wilderness area. From the south this junction is 79.2 trail miles north of Cascade Locks/Bridge of the Gods. FS Rd. 23 is paved with light traffic but a hitch-ride should come by quite often. This road becomes Mt. Adams Road as you approach the town of Trout Lake and junctions with Hwy 141 in the center of town. Hikers tell us
"This is a great little town! Everything we need to refresh can be found here!"
Refuge from the Storm! Sept 8, 2013 “The third day of rain had soaked most tents and equipment, clothing was wet, there was no continuing…. The woman who runs the General Store saw them and said, here are the keys to my Toyota Tundra, go get the others….30 hikers got down from the storm….A phone tree found private homes who would take hikers. The Jonah Mission school opened its gym, its locker rooms, and the kitchen. They fixed meals, people brought food…. Everyone in Trout Lake was incredibly kind and helpful…. Trout Lake, Washington, has become part of PCT thru-hiker lore….” Read Full Account
Here’s what we offer:
- Transportation back to the trail can be arranged by calling PCTA member Doug Anderson, and others, who will even bring you down to town if you pre-arrange a pick-up time at the trailhead at Rd. 23. email@example.com. 509-395-3611.
- Trout Lake Grocery, 2383 Hwy 141. They specialize in the needs of outdoor activity folks. Sleeping rooms available. UPS and mail drop and receive services. Washer/Dryer. Internet access. Food/supply exchange box. A Register to sign. Good source of information about Trout Lake. 509-395-2777.
- Andy’s Valley Chevron Station at the junction of Mt. Adams Rd. and Hwy 141, a good first stop coming in to town. Andy and crew will be very helpful in letting you know where the services are in Trout Lake, and in helping you get a ride back up to the Trailhead. 509-395-2211.
- Gifford Pinchot National Forest Mt. Adams District Ranger Station is 1/2 mile west of the Post Office. Maps, Trail Information, list of overnight accommodations in the valley. Rest Rooms, water. 2455 Hwy. 141. Open 8:00-4:30, generally 6 days a week from Memorial Day to Labor Day; also Sundays in the heart of the summer season. 509-395-3400.
- U.S. Post Office, 2393 Hwy 141, Trout Lake, WA 98650. Open 8:15-12:30; 1:00 – 4:15 M-F. Also has a Register to sign. Mark your drop box "OK for store to pick up" and you can get your box at the Grocery Store, esp. on weekends. 509-395-2108.
Food Services and Restaurants:
- The Station Cafe with hot meals and cool huckleberry shakes is at the Chevron Station. 509-395-2211.
- Heavenly Grounds Espresso, also at the station, for a caffeine kick, a huckleberry smoothie, or backyard Bar-B-Q and a place to hang or to dry out. 509-395-2211.
- Trout Lake Valley Inn 1/2 mile south of town at 2300 Hwy 141. New units. Competitive rates include breakfast. Coin-op laundry. Hot tub! In-room phones. A ride back up to the trail may also be available if not too busy. www.troutlakevalleyinn.com 509-395-2300.
- Trout Lake Grocery has 3 rooms available in the back of the store. E-mail connection. Economy Hiker rates. 509-395-2777.
- Kelly’s Trout Creek Inn B & B let historic Trout Creek sing you to sleep in a beautifully decorated room of Irish woodsy decor. Breakfast included of course. Discounts for hikers. Possible ride back up to the trail. 25 Mt. Adams Road. www.kellysbnb.com. 509-395-2769.
- Trout Lake Abbey small organic farm of fruits and vegetables; some B ‘n B, some camping lodging. Find our Trail Magic cans at the west side of the FS Rd 23 Trailhead. Possible ride back up to the Trail. Small Buddhist and Druid Temple on site. www.tlabbey.com firstname.lastname@example.org
- Historic Trout Lake Country Inn, 15 Guler Road, www.troutlakecountryinn.net, A few rooms. Enjoy delicious home-made food, cold beer and live music surrounded by views of Mt. Adams. 509-395-3667.
- County Park 1 block behind the Post Office has camping and coin-op showers.
- Elk Meadows RV Camp 1 mile west of Ranger Station via Trout Lake Trail. www.elkmeadowsrvpark.com. Facilities are for RV campers only but the beautiful picnic ground with a view of Mt. Adams is worth the stop. 509-395-2400.
- Trout Lake Presbyterian. One block north of Post Office. Celebrated their Centennial Year in 2005! Sunday service 11:15 a.m.Always open.
- Mt. Adams Baptist. At junction of Mt. Adams Rd. and Hwy 141. Sunday Praise service 10:30 a.m. Always open.
- Mt. Adams Zen Buddhist Temple Services: M-F 6:30 a.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m. www.mtadamszen.org. 509-395-2030.
See our full listing of Trout Lake Area Events
- Saturday Market at the Grange Hall across from the Post Office every Saturday from July 4 to Labor Day. Local arts, quilting, crafts, and food.
- Trout Lake Festival of the Arts third Saturday and Sunday in July
focusing on the visual and performing arts of the Columbia Gorge area. About 55 artists and 11 hours of live music at the site of the former The Farm a Bed & Breakfast 490 Sunnyside Road. www.thefarmbnb.com. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Free admission. Food service on site. 509-395-2488.
- Trout Lake Fair first weekend in August.
- Town Rummage Sale for scholarships for our kids! Labor Day weekend. Across from the Trout Lake Grocery.