The Ancient Lakes

While backpacking to Dusty Lake, in the Quincy Lakes area of Eastern Washington, we stumbled through the Ancient Lakes. The trail is just a couple miles with little elevation gain, and great intrigue! The geology is absolutely fascinating.

The path takes you through a beautiful example of a dual recessional-cataract canyon, glassy lakes, tall sage brush and even a waterfall. This scenery was carved into the area back in the ice age during the The Missoula Floods nearly 1.5 million years ago. Maybe this is why these glacial lakes are appropriately named “Ancient.”

Upon reaching the picturesque lakes we veered right toward the center spur of the basalt canyon. Taking a very steep scramble to an expansive view of the Ancient Lakes themselves. What we didn’t realize quite yet was that we were another short climb away from an even more spectacular view.

My faithful pup and I took an excursion to the top of a ridge that stood behind us at the last viewpoint. As we rose higher and higher suddenly a curtain of rock opened up to an aerial view of the lone Dusty Lake below. That was our destination, but this spot was just too steep so we retraced our steps down and hugged the canyon from the bottom before reaching our camp spot for the night.


Ancient Lakes Rd Quincy, Wa 98848


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