Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Sitting on top of Angel Peak.  The top of Van Patten
Butte is just visible off Ginger's knees. 
Monday, August 26
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     Rick convinced me that today would be better spent hiking and climbing to the top of Angel Peak in the Anthony Lakes basin rather than working on sermon and worship preparation for Sunday, and....he was right!  A glorious hike and time spent atop the highest peak in the Anthony area.
     Left Baker City around 8:30 and on the trail by 9:30!  We start at the Elkhorn Crest Trailhead parking area on the east side of the campground.  Steady climb up past Black Lake and around the flank of Gunsight Mountain to the beautiful valley hidden from
Valley on south side of Anthony basin ridge.
most visitors nestled between Van Patten Butte and the Anthony Lakes ridge of peaks.  The south side of this valley is marked by a knife edge ridge of jagged rocks.  The valley floor has a huge meadow area etched with a winding snake of a creek.  The trail is rocky but shady.  Wildflowers are scarce this time of year.  A few dying pearly everlasting and fireweed, and still lots of asters.  We hike about 2 1/2 miles to a point below Angel Peak.  A chute or draw leads up to the top of the ridge.  It is about a 450' climb, rather steep among loose gravel and rocks.  I pause frequently to take pictures (which is really my excuse to catch my breath!)
The green highway to the top!
     On top of the ridge we can see south to all the Elkhorn Peaks and north to the Anthony Lakes basin (altho Anthony Lake itself is hidden by the flank of Gunsight Mt.)  We drop down from the ridge slightly to pick up what I call the green highway to the summit - a broad band of huckleberry bushes, grasses, and heather that slopes its way to the top.
     We spend nearly an hour on the peak.  I take a panorama picture, Rick explores an adjacent rock pinnacle (he had to do a little rock climbing for it!) and we eat!
Rick atop a rock outcropping. 
 Drop down into Angel basin and the draw between Angel and Lees Peaks - a lush meadow rampant with Rick's favorite flower: the Explorer's or Bog Gentian - a trumpet bell shaped deep blue purple flower.  The trail was lined with gentians muc
Bog Gentians
h of the rest of the way down - we are on the damp and wet side of the ridge now!  As we hiked down we found three Bolitz mushrooms which we took to Katy to cook and enjoy!  (And rejoiced that she confirmed what kind they were - we got it right!)
360 Pano from top of Angel.  
     Eventually we make our way down to Hoffer Lakes and then we take a game trail (which turns into one of the XC ski trails AFTER we climb over many a downed tree!) to cut down to Anthony Lake and back to the car.
Basin filled with gentians between Angel and Lees Peaks.

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