Red Buttes Wilderness Day 4 – Azalea Lake and beyond.

We woke up early on the final day of our trip and began packing up under a full moon.
IMG_2390//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

We had been having a great time backpacking but we were also looking forward to our reservations for that night at the Chateau at the Oregon Caves. We said goodbye to Azalea Lake and climbed back up to the saddle between Figurehead Mountain and Buck Peak watching the sun color the clouds as it rose.
IMG_2393//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

IMG_2394//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

IMG_2396//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

IMG_2402//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

IMG_2399//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Preston Peak
IMG_2403//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

IMG_2407//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

It was a beautiful morning as we retraced our route from Monday in reverse. We skipped the .1 mile side trip to Cirque Lake and paused at Sucker Gap for a snack.
Swan Mountain from Sucker Gap
IMG_2421//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

A little over half a mile beyond Sucker Gap we spotted another pair of hikers making their way up the trail. I don’t know who was more surprised, but we all had shocked looks on our faces. They hadn’t expected to see anyone else on the trails. They were from Medford and on their way up to Sucker Gap and then going to head off-trail up either Swan Mountain or Pyramid Peak. We informed them that they had broken a tie between humans seen and bears making the final 5 to 3 in favor of people. They let us know that they had seen our car at the lower trailhead so we knew it was still waiting for us. We arrived at our car close to 1pm and headed for the Oregon Caves National Monument which was only about 20 miles away.

We arrived before check-in (3pm) so we wandered around the gift shop and had a wonderful lunch in the cafe before picking up our room keys. The Chateau was amazing. Considered one of the “Great Lodges” the six story building was originally built in 1934.
IMG_2432//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

IMG_2431//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Lobby
IMG_2429//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Our room
IMG_2426//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

It really felt like we’d gone back in time in the rustic building and immediately felt at home. The Chateau would be closing for the season after the weekend but the staff was very friendly and helpful and dinner in the Chateau Dining Room was excellent. Oh, and Cave Creek flows right through the building which was the icing on the cake. Happy Trails!

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/9319235@N02/albums/72157660616631445/with/22658987801/

Advertisements

One thought on “Red Buttes Wilderness Day 4 – Azalea Lake and beyond.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s