Ancient and Dusty Lakes - Quincy Miles: 13 Gain: 2300'  
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 April 9-10 , 2011
I won't spend a lot of time on trails and the like in this area. Lots of information exists on the web and it's a pretty popular place to be early season like this.

We headed out around 8:30 from the cloudy west side P &R at 160th and 405. The drive to Quincy takes about 2:15 as I-90 is pretty fast. To park in the Qunicy Wildlife area where this trip begins, you'll need a vehicle use permit, which is an annual pass for all state wildlife areas. If you have a hunting or fishing license, I think this is included.

Most of the roads leading out to the trail head from Quincy are paved. The last couple miles are on a good gravel road, posing no problems for the family mini van.

Follow the gated road SSE out of the parking area for a 1/3 mile or so and once around the edge of the cliffs to the north take any of the prominent trails you see on your left into the coulee. Staying on the road will take you to the next coulee further S and Dusty Lake.

Once you're heading E into the coulee there really are no wrong paths to follow. All lead eventually to the three lakes at the head of the basin. Good camping here although you may have to scout around a little to get at the water, as the lake shores tend to be vegi choked and marshy.

It's a short hike out to the lakes with virtually no elevation gain. When we got there the meadowy green

surrounding the lakes had a fair number of tents already pitched. I thought we'd do better hiking over to Dusty Lake and either camping there or up at Cliff Lake like we did on the last trip 2 years ago.

I led us up what I thought was the trail leading through the coulee wall to the S from Ancient Lakes. It sure was a prominent trail but it turned out not to be the way we went on the previous trip. Going down the other side to Dusty Lake was doable, but not desirable with full packs and problematic knees. So back to the lakes we went, found a nice spot by the eastern most lake and set up camp.

For the afternoon some of us explored the area above the falls that feeds the lakes at the east end of the coulee. A rough path leads you above the falls toward Judith Pool and along the way reveals another higher set of falls. We went that way and above the second falls fooled around on some totally unclimbable :) little rock pinnacles.

Sunday morning we did a trip over to Dusty Lake and back on the correct path through the coulee wall to Ancient Lakes, which is easy to see from that side but mostly hidden from the other. It makes the trip between the two basins quick, but be prepared that the traverse below the cliffs on the Dusty Lake side is a little airy. Most people comfortable with lesser used mountain trails won't have any problem.

Back at camp by around 2:00p we were packed and at the cars by 3:30 or 4:00p. Dinner at the Sunset Cafe in Cle Elum and then back into the rain and gloom of the west side.
from I-90
take sr 281( exit 149) toward quincy / wenatchee. go north on sr 281 to quincy (we bought the wildlife area vehicle use permit at gates true value hardware on 'e' street). from quincy, go west on sr 28 4 miles to u road nw (marked white trail road), go left (south) and drive about 1 mile until you reach road 9-nw go right (west) and drive 5.9 miles to the road's end.  a new larger parking area with a porta-john.
if you don't need to buy permits in quincy (they are available anywhere hunting/fishing licenses are sold), from i-90 go north on sr 281 and then left on any of the roads heading west to u road (looks like 5 nw thru 9 nw all connect to u road).

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