“A great day run to a set of beautiful mountain-ringed lakes.”
— samh Haraldson
Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Runers share this trail with mountain bikers and equestrian users, on certain days of the week, so take that into consideration for your planning.
Park at the large dirt trailhead and set out for a mellow climb that switchbacks up the somewhat wide yet very featured and craggy Emerald Lake valley. You'll climb through coniferous forest, next to the bubbling East Fork Hyalite Creek, across lush meadows abundant with wildflowers and ultimately reach the top of the basin and the sparkling Emerald Lake.
Dispersed camping is an option here if you've brought camping gear to spend the night. If time permits, carefully make your way another 0.9 miles beyond Emerald Lake up to Heather Lake for even more solitude. Return the way you came which is essentially a peaceful, carefree downhill back toward civilization.