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Trip Report

Ancient Lakes, Frenchman Coulee

Central Washington

Trip Report By

WTA Member


Hiked Feb 20, 2021

Type of Hike

Day hike

Trail Conditions

Trail in good condition


Road suitable for all vehicles


No bugs


Intermittent snow - not hard to cross

Went looking for a bit of sunshine, and was hoping to overnight at Ancient Lakes. We found the sunshine and about 2 inches of snow still on the ground. I went ahead and loaded my kiddo in the backpack and we treated Ancient Lakes as a training hike, and then ended up car camping nearby and taking a morning hike at Frenchman Coulee.

Ancient Lakes - Both one of the upper parking lots and the main trailhead had about 10 cars in them around 2 pm on a Saturday. Passed plenty of small groups and there's plenty of space to pass folks not wearing masks. Saw lots of happy doggos, most on leash or on a good heel. There was a porto-potty at the main lower trailhead, but didn't need to use it. Went prepared to pack out some trash, but didn't see any since the snow had fallen. Had meant to bring poles, and missed them a bit with the packed snow a little slippery.

It just felt good to be out and get some sunshine. It was so cold, we could barely smell the sagebrush, but I love this landscape. The partially-frozen waterfalls were lovely.

Frenchman Coulee - Had the little parking lot and the trail to ourselves for a short 8 am hike, despite there being about 10+ groups up in the climbing areas. Less sunshine and plenty of brisk wind on Sunday, but we got to see some antelope(?) in the distance and enjoy this awesome landscape by ourselves before heading home. This is a favorite leg-stretcher, but it was the first time I got to hike it with a bit of snow on the ground. Picked up a few forgotten dog bags along the way.


Ms.Math on Ancient Lakes, Frenchman Coulee

Thank you for picking up trash and abandoned poop bags! You're really going the extra mile (pardon the pun) to keep our natural spaces natural. And people like me really appreciate it!

Posted by:

Ms.Math on Feb 25, 2021 09:41 PM