Azelea Lake and Flora Lake on the Pacific Crest Trail

Geoff Panek and Biggs hiking

Last Sunday Kate and I tried a new hike.  We went to Boreal Ski Ranch to pick up the Pacific Crest Trail head but instead of going north toward Castle Peak, we instead went south planning to see the three lakes … Azelea Lake, Flora Lake and Lake Angela.  The PCT is well worn so its a great trail, easy rolling at around the 7200 foot level.

PCT google earth map
Click to enlarge

In about a mile we found a trail off to our right and looking at my Garmin Dakota GPS it had to be the trail to the first lake, Azelea.  Sure enough a real beauty. (click images for full size)

Azelea Lake, PCT

Azelea LakeThe next lake, Flora Lake was not far away at all according to the GPS and sure enough the lakes side trail led us right to it.  However, the trail seemed to end at Flora Lake and we resorted to bushwacking climbing over nice granite but also plowing thru manzanita.

Kate and Biggs along the PCT

Ben on ganite


View to Donner Lake
Donner Lake
Biggs, the braveheart

Biggs, being so low to the ground, had a rough time so Kate or I carried him thru some but then decided to just put him in my pack.

Geoff Panek and Biggs hiking

We finally got to some relatively flat granite where the big watt power lines were going overhead.  I kinda thought if we followed them we would get to Lake Angela but it was getting a little late, and I forgot that I had Google Earth on my phone and I was getting reception.  That would have showed me what you see here on this map I pulled up at home.

Kate Stewart and Ben and Biggs
Stopping for water at the power lines
Google Earth map of flora lake
If we had followed the power lines to our right we would have eventually met up with a trail to Angela

If you look carefully and blow up this map you will see the power lines. Lake Angela is off the map to the left.

Instead we chose to go left and  try and get back down to PCT which we could just make out below the cliffs we were on.

Pacific Crest Trail near Donner
You can see our track where we tried to get down several places but either too steep with the dogs or way too much manzanita to get thru.

Here is what we were dealing with:
lake flora hike

Biggs went right after me
Kate Stewart Mountain climber
Kate, not too happy about the descent

kate stewart hiking

Pacific Crest Trail
Our view looking down, and all the brush. PCT was down there.

Garmin at PCT

We finally gave up on going to PCT and just retraced back to Flora lake and everyone but me had a nice swim.

Flora Lake

Flora Lake
The trail around Flora Lake

Next time we will go all the way to Lake Angela, probably following PCT till it meets up with side trail to that lake.

Flora Lake loop on Google earth

Author: Geoff

Quick rundown: Grew up in Lombard, Illinois, went to Arizona State University, worked as a CPA with Arthur Andersen & Co, then Laventhal and Horwath, then Rolling Stones, then Heron International, then Goodby Berlin and Silverstein in San Francisco. Moved to the foothills in 1990 and traded futures and designed websites. Married to Kate Stewart, now living in Colfax, CA. We have six grandchildren. I enjoy camping in our RV, hiking, kayaking, fishing, droning and cross country skiing Also conga drumming, photography and dogs.

7 thoughts on “Azelea Lake and Flora Lake on the Pacific Crest Trail”

  1. This looks so fantastic. How long did it take. Dang I want to do this one, but it looks pretty tough in spots.

    1. We got a late start around 1pm I believe. it was only a little over a mile to the first lake. All together it was only about 4.75 miles. other than the bushwacking it was relatively easy. you could do it for sure.

  2. It was great fun…other than thinking I was going to die at any moment when I was descending one of the cliffs. Perfect pic of me with my tongue out;-)))

  3. Some terrain! You sure know how to pick your spots. I can just imagine what Kate
    must have been thinking on her cliff descent. But it does look interesting.
    I, too, love Biggs in the backpack. Great pictures.

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