Cle Elum Lake: NF 128 and Dune riding – October 2016

It’s Fall in Washington, early October. The colors will soon be coming up in full force so it was paramount to get out on the trails again, hopefully to catch some good photos with a sweeping view of the Cascade mountains in the distance. Rather than a full day of long miles and dusty trails, my buddy and I decided for a chill ride up to an overlook and spend a few hours enjoying the view.

Heading north on 903 from Cle Elum, through the tiny PNW towns of Roslyn and Randle, you’ll begin to drive along Cle Elum Lake. As is typical for this time of year the lake levels have dropped considerably. More on that later.

NF-128 is an easy trail for most vehicles with just the very last switchback requiring a decent suspension lift to get over the rocky ledges. The view along the way to the overlook at the end is pretty stupendous as it looks back down the trail to the Cle Elum River, 2450 feet below.

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NF-128

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View from NF-128

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View NF-128

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NF-128 Overlook
We spent a few hours at the overlook, taking pictures, enjoying another one of Dana’s fantastic trail BBQ’s, as it alternated between warm sunshine and breezy rain. It was all well and good until we had to bug out under rifle fire: A couple of people where target shooting off of a trail spur lower down the mountain and the rounds were ricocheting in our general direction with that characteristic “Ziiiiiiingg”.
We headed back down to Cle Elum Lake to see how low the water level really was. As it turns out, it was low enough to explore the lake bed, which became a wide, level expanse of desert conditions with patches of sand and river-worn rocks.
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Cle Elum Lake: dry lake bed
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Cle Elum Lake: dry lake bed

dsc_0967Cle Elum Lake: dry lake bed

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3 thoughts on “Cle Elum Lake: NF 128 and Dune riding – October 2016

    1. Thanks for the compliment! When target shooting out in the mountains it is of utmost importance to self regulate by being responsible and aware of what may be behind ones target, for safeties sake. These guys didn’t do that. They just assumed the area was clear when it was not. Especially irritating, and dangerous, was they continued to target shoot even after we honked our horns a few times to let them know we were downrange.

      Liked by 1 person

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