Features: Birding — Lake — River/Creek — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
Can be muddy with some erosion problems reported at the far end, close to the Little Divide Trail
Starting from behind the Sol Duc Hot Springs resort near the Lover's Lane Trail
start, this trail ascends a forested hillside. The towering trees here are impressive. Continue uphill on a steady incline with broad switchbacks through some second growth and old growth Douglas fir and hemlock. The grade decreases near the lake where folks often fish, camp and birdwatch. Mink Lake is a pretty small bit of water set into a marshy, tree-rimmed bowl. Depending on the season and conditions, the mosquitos here can be merciless.
Continuing on, around the western side of the lake, pass through boggy meadows before starting to climb again. As you gain elevation, the landscape changes into a sub-alpine wonderland of wildflower fields and blueberry bushes. A few steep pitches and you reach the ridge where the Mink Lake Trail ends at a junction with the Little Divide Trail
and the Bogachiel River Trail
. Because of all the trees on the ridge, you won't get big views here. Some people like to explore the Bogachiel Park's meadows on the way back- about 1/2 mile south of the lake, just off the Mink Lake Trail.
Berries, fir, hemlock, cedar. Deer, elk, bear.