“A secret gem of a lake that most overlook while passing through.”
— Joseph States
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Spring · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
See postings at Windy Saddle Campground prior to heading into this area. Dry summers and lighting can make remote areas risky. The lake is cold all year but not too cold for a brisk swim. Rocks are very sharp, be warned.
Lots of animal trail spurs make navigating reliably difficult. Runners may want to just hike it first to find all the cairns and save you the frustration of wandering into less desirable terrain.
An incredible blue, snow-fed lake awaits your short but steep running efforts. This trail has never been officially added to the government trail maps and thus has no maintenance plan. It is, however, somewhat well established with over 150 cairn markers that start on the summit of Lower Cannon Lake Trail #126
just above Lower Cannon Lake.
This trail is quite easy as it runs from cairn to cairn up the ridge. That easy running gives way as you start to assault the face of the canyon and climb steeper and steeper. If at anytime you feel like you lost the trail, just stop and scan for a cairn, the trail reappears like magic. (sometimes you wonder how you didn't see it) About 2/3 the way there, the trail plays a bittersweet trick on you, leading you to think you are coming over the top and almost there! It is only a sweet meadow area with a sweet waterfall coming down a sweet cliff! Stay with the cliff as you pass the waterfall and scramble up a steep, somewhat loose trail section to get up out of the meadow area. You are almost there!
Continue following the cairns up a steep valley to a great fall camping area and from there down onto the rocky lake shore. Some may stop here, but there is more to see if you continue along the shore to the mouth of the lake and a spectacular view. The trip back down is somehow easier to navigate and much faster. (You may wonder why it took as long as it did to get up)
Flora & Fauna
Loads of wild flowers and big friendly bumble bees. Mountain goats that let you get closer to them than a smart person should.