Mallard Lake – Site 1

Site Details

Closest Access Point:  Sec Lake (access # 20)
Distance to Access Point: Less than 1 KM. (Also, there’s a road running behind it).
Difficulty of Travel From Access Point: Easy.
Maintenance Level: Regular
Date Visited: November, 2022

This is a road access site on the way into the Sec Lake access point. It puts you at the north end of Mallard Lake and is the only official Park site on the Lake. The Park’s boundary bisects the lake, and there are some crown land sites along the eastern shore if you want to save yourself $11. As far as sites go, this is fine if you want to car camp without any of the car camping amenities (like electrical or water hookups). As far as backcountry sites go, it’s very basic and right on a road, so not ideal if you’re looking for the backcountry experience. I’d say it’s a great jump off site, but everything in this area is so close together that you don’t really need a jump off site. None of the campable sites in the area are more than an hour (and that’s generous) from the access point).

Terrain: The site proper is small but level. There is a decline down to the shoreline, but the useable site area is fairly flat and easy to navigate. This is not a large spot.

Canoe Landing: The canoe landing is decent. There’s a small indent in the shoreline at the end of a gradual underwater incline. The underwater terrain is a mix of rocks and sand and the shoreline is soft growth and dirt. As I mentioned before, there’s a bit of a climb up to the rest of the site. No underwater obstacles that I noted.

Fire Pit: The fire pit is central in the site’s main area. It’s got a semi-obstructed view out to the water and is basically just a small jumble of rocks around some charred bits.

Tent Sites: I guess it depends on where you consider the site to end, but in my opinion this site has got room for one tent, two max. That’s not to say you couldn’t jam a tent party in here, but there wouldn’t be room to do much else. The nest tent pad was nice and level with a soft layer of pine needles on the ground.

Swimmability: The swimming didn’t look that appealing to me, but I was there on a windy day in November. The underwater terrain is mostly small rocks, so walking out may be a bit uncomfortable if you’re barefoot.

Accessories: The site has a couple of very solid log benches, and that’s about it.

Views: The view is south and east down Mallard. There’s a decent amount of tree coverage around the site, but not enough to really obstruct the view. Let’s call it semi-obstructed. The view from the shore is quite nice.

Notes:  I wouldn’t use this as a site if I wanted a backcountry camping experience. If I wanted a place to set up a tent and park my vehicle and maybe do some day trips to nearby Sec Lake or the Barron Canyon? This would definitely do the trick.

Related Trip Report: Sec Lake Exploratory

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