Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Wildflowers
The trailhead can be found just north of the "castle," an obvious structure on the east beach of Backbone Lake.
From the trailhead, the trail goes immediately into mixed forest of conifers and hardwoods, rolling gently through some truly beautiful woods. The trail goes past several significant cliff faces, with rock appropriate for climbing. Tell a ranger if you plan on roping up.
The terrain is relatively easy until the end, when it climbs quite steeply and quickly for about 100' to meet the park road. The summit of the climb is actually part of the "backbone," and this west/north trailhead is within a few hundred feet of the backbone trail itself.
A short jaunt on the road will bring visitors to the Six Pine Trail, which they can then connect to the West Lake Trail to make a really great loop around the entire lake.
Flora & Fauna
Blue-tailed skinks occasionally emerge to sun themselves on the rocky cliffs along this trail. The water attracts a lot of birds, from fishing bald eagles to wading great blue herons and squabbling mallards.