Leask Lakes Hike: A Challenge and An Adventure
Story & Photos by Chris Wilhelm
May 03, 2004
brushing skills with his two foot machete...
Mike Sallee broke trail as the unofficial trail guide. Sallee had hiked the trail to the lake two days before and demonstrated essential brushing skills with his two foot machete. About half an hour later, the core hikers reached the pass above Harriet Hunt, elevation about 1,000 feet. A superb view of the Leask Lakes drainage area and hike ahead inspired everyone.
Leask Lakes lie off to the right of the Wolf Lake and are not visible in the photo.
At the pass, the snow is completely melted and the spring growth is rampant. So were a lot of insects, but a gentle breeze through the pass made it quite tolerable.
The Leask Lakes trail crosses the Tongass, as well as university and other state land. The terrain varies from muskeg meadows to densely forested areas. A few areas were quite dense, with salmonberry blossoms competing with devil's club plants for space. Flowing streams were encountered about every 30 minutes or so.
Turek, Chris Wilhelm, Nanna the dog, and of course Mike Sallee. The other hikers
turned back at different times.
A light lunch was called for. Spending a couple of hours was easy, as the group traced the movements of a loon pair and listened to their cries. It was easy to drink in the natural, completely pristine beauty of Leask Lake. Though a good portion of the return hike was uphill, the return trip was only slightly longer than the hike there. An occasional muskeg patch tested boot materials. Hikers returned to Harriet Hunt by 5 pm.
Chris Wilhelm ©2004