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We decided it would be fun to go on a day hike Thursday while we were camping along Barlow Creek. We started from Barlow Creek campground (actually right across the creek from the campground) following Bonney Meadows trail #471 for about 2 miles. This trail intersects Catalpa Lake trail #535 (about 3/4 of a mile) just before it ends at FS road 250. The hike is approximately 5.5 miles round-trip with 1,000 feet of elevation gain. The last time we hiked to Catalpa lake 5 years ago there was snow on the trail. That was not the case this late in the summer. The weather was wonderful with sunny skies, light winds, and a temperature in the 70s F.
The last time we hiked to Catalpa lake, we started at Barlow Creek campground and climbed across the collapsed bridge to the other side of Barlow creek where the trail starts. The bridge has deteriorated too much to safely cross, so we drove directly to the trailhead on the correct side of the creek. There were several trees down across the road that we had to cut out of the way. There is no sign for the trailhead, but plenty of room for a few vehicles to park near Barlow Creek where the collapsed bridge is.
Our Mini-Adventurer did a great job hiking. This was the longest hike he has been on (he's 3 years old now). We all enjoyed the scenery and an occasional huckleberry. Julian ended up hiking most of the way to the lake. He made it 2 of the 2.75 miles. Not bad.
Catalpa Lake looked just like it did 5 years ago. And just like 5 years ago, we had the whole lake to ourselves. It would be fun to backpack here sometime. The trail is only 3/4 of a mile long if you come to it from forest service road 250.