Thursday, June 29, 2017

Courtright Reservoir June 2017

Dale Matson

Courtright Dam Barely Visible

I wrote an article about Courtright last year that has more particulars regarding directions and sights along the way.
This year my post includes more photographs from the vista overlook above Courtright and more photographs of Courtright itself. While the road to Courtright Reservoir off McKinley Grove Road is a U.S. Forest Service Road, access is determined by PGE. Because this was a winter of abundant snow and PGE keeps the access gated until the snow melts, this was the first week the road was open. The lake altitude is over 8,000’ and this is about the snow line at present.
My son Ben and I were surprised to see 20 or so cars at the boat ramp and near the dam. There were about a dozen folks fishing along the dam. We had lunch there but drove on a road that travels north along the west side of the lake. The campground areas were still closed. The road ends at a gate blocking access to private residences. The trailhead to Cliff Lake also begins in this area.
We turned around and headed south again and found a pullout to park in to walk down to the lake for more photographs. The lake is as full an as blue as I have ever seen it with some snow still covering massive Maxson Dome (10,143’) on the east side of the lake. It is quite a landmark for those doing a day hike to Hobler Lake or places beyond like Black Cap and Red Mountain Basins that require wilderness permits for several days of backpacking.
When the trail conditions improve later in summer this is also where the drive starts for the wicked 31-mile Dusy-Ershim OHV trail that ends near Kaiser Pass to the north. The trail is fairly tame until after Voyager Rock.
You have to drive on a single lane road across the dam to access these trailheads and camping areas. Don’t look to your right!

I used an assortment of lenses with my Sony A7R2. Those included the 24-70 2.8 GM, 18mm 2.8 Zeiss Batis, and adapted Canon 70-200 2.8 and 400 f4 lenses. All of these lenses are sharp but the 18mm Batis remains my favorite for rendering color. 

Click On Photographs To Enlarge  
 Three Of Many Area Domes
 Ben Taking A Risk For Just The Right Photograph!

 Happy Angler And A Friend
 River Gorge Below Dam
 Small Creek Flowing Into Courtright


 70mm Vista

Mt. Goddard (13,563') 200mm

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