“See five beautiful lakes, waterfalls, great valley views, and limited crowds along this great trail.”
— Karl W
Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall
This trail enters wilderness and requires registration.
This trail begins at the very end of NF-68 at a decent sized parking area with registration forms, a restroom, and information kiosk. The single-lane dirt road was easily passable with some potholes (as of Oct 2018). The trail begins fairly flat and well made. There is some elevation gain through a mix of old and new growth forest on route to Trout Lake. There are a few backcountry camp sites near the lake.
After Trout Lake, the trail will begin to steadily gain elevation along nearly endless switchbacks. You'll get a few nice views of the river, but not amazing ones considering there are a few named waterfalls near the bottom. About half way up, the views will open up, granting lovely views into the valley, and to Malachite Falls which is very impressive. Near the top of the switchbacks, the trail will re-enter the forest, passing a short trail intersection to Malachite Lake. You'll come to beautiful Copper Lake shortly thereafter. The large log-dam and shore make a great resting place. There are only a few campsites here, but there was a little pit toilet if you need it.
Many people stop at either Copper Lake or Trout Lake, so after this you could have more privacy. You can keep going to Little Heart Lake along the shore of Copper Lake and then through a pleasant valley. This smaller lake has fewer access points. Climb up the ridge along the eastern edge of the lake to get to Big Heart Lake. You should have some views of Big Heart Falls too. You can continue along the trail which at some point becomes Chetwoot Lake Trail. This will pass Angeline Lake, two small lakes, and arrive at Chetwoot Lake.