Today was an unusual hiking excursion because I ended up at a trail that was not the one I had planned to hike. I had originally set out to hike Anderson and Watson Lakes, but the GPS stopped working and we couldn’t figure out where to turn based off of written directions. We drove back to an area that had phone service and searched for other hikes nearby and found Thunder Knob off of the Cascade Highway.
It’s a short 3.8-mile hike, which we chose because we had already wasted a lot of time driving around trying to find a hike. For the length and easiness of the hike, the payoff is pretty cool. It overlooks Diablo Lake at the top and you get some mountain views as well It’s about an hour and 45 minute drive from Western, which is a kind of a far way to go for such a short hike. But if you want the kind of scenery that this hike offers, you have to drive that far anyway. The hike took less than two hours, including the time that we spent at the top.
The hike itself was pretty easy. The switchbacks weren’t very steep and like I said earlier, it was short. The most difficult thing about the hike was the hot weather and the dryness. Everything on that trail is dry. We saw lots of chipmunks and a lizard on the trail, which was pretty cool. There were a few people on the trail and I suspect it would be a lot more crowded on a weekend.
Diablo lake is enormous and it’s turquoise blue. I’d suggest doing any hike in that area. If you’re looking for a longer and more difficult day hike that has views of Diablo Lake, try the 7.6-mile Diablo Lake trail. There are also many campgrounds in the area that are meant for car camping – a great place for summer camping that has many nearby trails.