And so after hiking to Lower Dewey Lake we came to that fork in the road and to please my husband we started up, and I mean UP. The photos of the trails do not give it justice. It was three miles up. Though I did some consistent walking/jogging the weeks before our cruise, I was not in the kind of shape to climb a mountain. My husband does squats in his regular weightlifting regimen, and he was having a hard time so you know I was dying out there.
I took the lead so that I could set the pace. I didn’t want to be left trailing after him. But I went as fast as I could stopping only to rest when I absolutely had to or claimed I needed a photo! I just KNEW we were going to miss the ship. “We have plenty of time,” was always my husband’s reply. The hike was beautiful, and my husband got his wish to climb up to that waterfall, that he saw at the lower lake, as the entire hike zigzagged up one side of it.
My husband kept saying we were almost there. In my head I calculated how long it takes me to walk a mile, and we were going at a snails pace climbing up. We were nowhere near the top when he began saying that. We met 3 hikers in the 3 hours we hiked up, THREE. I was worried about two things bears and not making it back to the ship on time. Jason said he read that you’re supposed to yell, “Bear” every now and then so you don’t surprise one. I thought that was kind of ridiculous. Suppose a hiker that didn’t get that memo heard me yelling, “Bear” it would scare me anyway. So picture me every few minutes for three hours yelling, “I am not a bear!” Ha ha! My husband was too tired himself to find it either annoying or amusing.
Now don’t let these bridges fool you. They were the only ones, but a nice little reprieve from climbing. By the time we arrived here we thought for sure we must be getting close. It still took us another hour to make it up.
They graciously offered to take our photo. My hair was completely wet and plastered to my head. We spent about fifteen minutes at Upper Dewey Lake. That’s it. All that work for 15 minutes. What a shame!!! I pulled out my water bottle that I had saved until we reached the top. Now Devil’s Punch Bowl is another mile up and we were told it was even more beautiful. As soon as we reached Upper Dewey Lake my husband started in saying we should keep going. “We don’t have time!” I insisted. “We have to get back.” Reluctantly he agreed that was probably the best decision.
Then we started back down the mountain. For the first hour my husband still said we had plenty of time, but after that he stated to worry too. “Oh we’re going to be cutting it close. We need to hurry,” he began. I could have punched him. Ha ha! You would think going down would be easy, but it was so steep that we were still working very tired muscles all the way down. My legs were trembling and Jason kept slipping behind me. I thought for sure he was going to ram into the back of me and take us both out. He HAD to be trying to kill me! But we couldn’t slow down because we really were going to be cutting it close. All the way down I yelled, “I want off this mountain. I want down,” to keep the bears away.
We made it down to Lower Dewey Lake and thought we had made it. We forgot that it had taken us an hour to get from the entrance of the trails to that point toward Upper Dewey lake. We were so tired and the lower trail isn’t for wimps either. Finally, we made it to the entrance of the trail and then still had the 1-2 mile walk back to the ship. I was in SO MUCH PAIN!
We arrived back on the ship with about a half hour to spare before the all aboard! I couldn’t believe we made it without any injuries. If one of us had twisted our ankle we would have missed our ship. That night we told someone what we did. They looked at us like we were crazy and said that another couple didn’t make it back because the wife had broken her ankle hiking Dewey Lake!!!!
What I recommend. All of the websites I found said that hiking to Upper Dewey Lake was an ALL DAY activity. If you have an entire day, this is a must do for anyone that loves to hike and look at beautiful scenery. I highly recommend it! However, if you are cruising and only have 6-8 hours don’t do it unless you are an avid hiker/runner. If you aren’t in awesome shape definitely hike to Lower Dewey Lake, it is a great and beautiful hike that you can do from your cruise ship in a couple of hours.