“This is a great day or overnight run to one of the most accessible Alpine Lakes.
— Chris Flashhard
Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers
Permit required: day-users can self register at the trailhead, but camping requires purchasing a permit ahead of time.
This is a great run for accessing the beauty of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. At 3.5 miles, this is a great day run or a nice overnight. We backpacked in for 2 nights for my 7 year old's first backpacking trip.
The first half mile starts with a significant climb, so he was a little discouraged at first. After that, though, the grade becomes much more gradual, with only a couple of short steeper sections.
This run will take you through evergreen stands, meadows, and opportunities to see the forest rebuilding itself after fires in 1994 and 2010. There are not very many shady areas in the middle of this run, so prepare for that. The bugs can be annoying at the lake, so be prepared if you plan to stay up there a while.
I've done this run a few times earlier in the season and found the lake to be bone-chillingly cold, but this time in August I found it to be refreshing and crystal clear. Around the 3 mile mark, you'll come to a small lake that is very pretty and worth a break to enjoy. However, continue climbing a bit more to get to your destination and the reward of fantastic views.