Back in February, when “normal” was still normal, I constructed a loop hike around Fawn Butte on the north side of Lost Creek Lake. It proved to be a good hike that traverses a variety of habitats, all on an easy to follow old road. The LovedOne was gardening then and passed on joining me. But I wanted to show it to her and today was the day for that. The only difference was that this time we’d explore to the end of the old road, rather than go cross-country down to the Blue Grotto (which is bone dry this time of year).

We got off to a cold start from the Lost Creek Trailhead and soon discovered that part of the old road up to Fawn Butte had been graded and new water bars installed. Then it went back to its old faded self.

Cold start
A newly graded road, with a refreshed water bar
Still moist in the cool of the morning
And then the old road was back
Into sunshine on the north side of Fawn Butte

We passed on climbing Fawn Butte itself this time and just continued on the old road as it contoured east toward Lewis Road. It cuts through stands of fir, cedars and madrones, passes meadows and oak forests, and eventually opens out to expansive views to the north of Flounce Rock.

Through a grove of firs and madrones
A grove of oaks changing into their Fall colors
Clouds over Flounce Rock
One last grove of trees before road’s end

While the vast majority of this old road is on public land, it emerges on the part of Lewis Road that is apparently private property – as evidenced by a fence, two gates, and lots of no trespassing signs. But you can walk south on the public side of the fence, past the gates, and then cross on to the public part of Lewis Road. Or you can, as I did on my first visit to Fawn Butte, go south cross-country from the old road. We ended-up getting on to Lewis Road and walking down it to the Fire Glen Campground road. We followed that down to the lake and the North Shore Trail and followed it back to the trailhead.

We reach Lost Creek Lake – which looks full but isn’t
Along the North Shore Trail
The impressively tall footbridge over Blue Gulch
On the North Shore Trail
Climbing around the south side of Fawn Butte
Through more oaks
It’s hard to imagine this area will be covered with flowers by early summer 🙂

This loop came to 9.8 miles with only 700 feet of gain – and almost all of that was in getting up to the north side of Fawn Butte. If you’re careful to avoid conflicts with private property, this makes for a wonderful way to hike through some interesting upland forests and along the North Shore Trail without having to double-back on either one. 🙂 The weather was warm and dry back in February and, curiously (or not), it was warm and dry today. Great weather for hiking; not so great for fire danger or drinking water supplies or agriculture. Funny how climate change keeps showing up at the party whether you invited it or not. 🙄

The complete Fawn Butte Loop, including the private property gates (bar bell shapes) and the Blue Grotto (G)