Sunday, October 19, 2008

Deep Lake Potholes

Click any image to expand

I must have stood at this spot for 15 minutes Saturday - Amazing Ice Age Flood features surrounded me. In this shot the pothole, massive butte and hanging coulee all help one visualize the awesome power of the Ice Age Floods. I'm impressed with the large basalt overhang near the skyline. In Bruce Bjornstad's book "On the Trail of the Ice Age Floods" he describes this undercutting process that was key to the formation of vertical faces in recessional cataracts.

The Lillquist Ladders

At the last Ice Age Floods Institute meeting in Ellensburg, I was telling former Coulee City resident Karl Lillquist that I'd recently visited the east end of Deep Lake and that it was an interesting hike (stinging nettles, poison oak and a near-miss with a skunk). Karl asked me if I'd used the ladders. ...What ladders?

A few weeks later I decided to visit the area again and sure enough there are two well placed ladders that make the descent much easier. I should mention that beautiful Castle Lake is nestled into the upper alcove. Catch one of Bruce Bjornstad's presentations to view a great image of this lake.

The Interpretive Master Plan for the Ice Age Floods in Washington State Parks describes this group of kolk carved depressions - "Another spectacular feature is a tight cluster of the deep potholes beyond Sun Lake just west of Deep Lake. These potholes lie along the valley bottom and require only a 5-10 minute walk from the road."

Note from Tom: I've visited this group of potholes on three occasions - each time the road was gated back at the Camp Delany fork. You might want to allow more than 5-10 minutes for the walk. I'd also like to mention that a fall into one of these potholes could be fatal!

Check out the: Pothole Gallery

Dry Falls aerial image.
Dry Falls (Google high altitude)

Black arrow upper left marks Deep Lake pothole cluster. Black arrow lower right notes Dry Falls Visitor center (WA State Parks).

Deep Lake
Deep Lake view from below Castle Lake

Look for another Deep Lake post. I'll be back soon to walk around the lake.

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