Philips Trail to Arnica Lake, 2009
Resting with Midnight on a switchback
I was invited on the Philips Trail to Arnica Lake hike by a friend of a friend. We did it as a group of four and just made it a quick one-nighter. It was a bit of a last minute invitation so I think by the time we arrived at the parking lot just after the Westmin Mine it was already the afternoon. I had no idea what I was signing up for... It is quite the slog up the switch backs. We also had a 10+ year-old dog named "Midnight" along with us that needed a slower pace. I don't think anyone complained! All the photos in this post are courtesy of Jean'a Willis, who brought Midnight along for this adventure.
From what I remember the hike up took us about 3.5 hours. I imagine we could have cut some time off if we were not stopping for frequent breaks and socializing as much. There were plenty of switch backs and we gained about 1200m in elevation. The hike is through forest and it is well maintained with board walks and such.
Arnica Lake looking to the north towards the camp
By the time we arrived at the lake it was early evening. The camping is on the opposite side of the lake from where the trail arrives. The lake itself is very beautiful and there is a great view to the south from the camping area, as you can see in the picture below. There are a few small pads to pitch a tent and a hilarious "throne" pit toilet with no walls and a staircase to climb.
View to the south from the camp
That night we all sat around and told stories. We eventually headed down to the edge of the lake to pump water and noticed many small frogs, some still developing from tadpoles. We also spent some time looking up at the stars. Eventually we retired into our tents. The one thing I did not appreciate was hearing the Westmin Mine humming all night long... It took away from really feeling like we were out in the deep wilderness.
The next morning we packed up and headed for home. Evidently Darryl was sad she would not have a chance to use her rain poncho, or maybe she just thought it looked cool, so she wrapped herself and her bag in it and posed for a few pictures.
Darryl and her poncho
The hike down was obviously much easier. I think it only took 2 hours at most. One day I would like to use this route to approach the Golden Hinde. I would also like to summit Mt Phillips.
Midnight resting at our camp
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