“I’ve seen the most magnificent lake. I can die now.” – Derek Jager
It’s been said that the water is so clean that it’s as clear as crystal. Carved from glaciers thousands of years ago, it plummets to over 600 feet with so little nitrogen that algae are unable to grow. The water is home to the Beardslee and Crescenti trout that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Looking out from the edge of the dock, I felt small compared to the steep mountains that surrounded me. The lake glowed with colors at sunset and shimmered reflections in the morning. We could only stay one night but it felt as if we had gone back in time and discovered a place that was still untouched by humankind.
After the sun had lowered past the horizon, we returned to the historic lodge to check in for the night. Jazz tunes hummed in the background while people relaxed on the patio and gathered around boardgames by the fireplace. The floorboards creaked their age as we climbed the steps and unlocked our small room with an actual key. We propped open the windows to cool the room with the night breeze and sleep away the hours of hiking and driving we logged for the day.
A Steller’s Jay flirted with us at breakfast on the lake’s edge beckoning us to come outside and find him. The morning called for a walk from Lake Crescent Lodge to Marymere Falls through the old growth forests of Douglas fir and redcedar trees. We hiked a two-mile round trip through vibrant greens of lowland forest that follow a creek to a ninety-foot waterfall at the end of the trail. We took turns rotating the binoculars and the camera so that we could capture everything we could as we hiked at Lake Crescent.