Features: Birding — Lake — River/Creek — Spring — Swimming — Views — Waterfall — Wildflowers — Wildlife
Dogs: No Dogs
Snow into June can make navigation tricky.
The trail starts near the cabins behind the Rising Sun Motor Inn. It starts near Rose Creek in some trees, but then pops out into a recent burn as it breaks away from the creek. The recent burn opens up views of the surrounding mountains and gives you views down to the creek that were once obscured.
The trail roughly parallels the playful creek as it climbs, eventually entering into the unburned upper section of the forest and joining the creek. The stretch along the creek with small waterfalls and pools is sublime and a great place to have a snack. As it climbs further, it leaves the creek and begins alternating between trees and avalanche chutes as it climbs the walls of the cirque to reach the basin. The trail wraps west all the while getting better and better views.
The trail levels out as it enters the basin, spending most of its time traversing the rocky slopes just above the vegetation lining the creek. This portion of trail is fantastic, eventually dropping right along the creek and following it into the lake. Cutthroat trout can be seen spawning in this section of the creek early in summer.
The trail leads to the lake which is set beautifully in a great bowl. Waterfalls drop from red, gnarled cliffs ringing the basin. Alpine vegetation creates a wonderful green contrast along the gradual slopes that extend to the water from the base of the cliffs.
This content was created by Jake Bramante of Hike 734. Visit hike734.com
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New flowers that follow a burn such as fireweed in the lower sections with alpine flowers such as silky phacelia in the upper stretches. Deer and black bear in the lower sections with the occasional mountain goat, bighorn sheep and grizzly up higher. Tree squirrels and chipmunks lower with marmots, pikas and golden-mantled squirrels up higher.