Commonly Backpacked · Fishing · Lake · River/Creek · Views
It's bad enough just getting the 3 1/4 miles in through the rocks to start the run in dry weather, but I would imagine that early snow in the fall would hamper any efforts to get in and rain and snow in the spring would make some of the road impassable.
Need to Know
We went in August, it was quite warm during the run as there isn't much shade, but cooled as we gained altitude. Trail was mostly dry, but I am sure in June and July there would be some muddy and boggy areas to negotiate. Cell service is spotty but not too bad.
Just 13 miles west of Buffalo off HWY 16 turn right onto Hunter Creek Rd/Schoolhouse Park Rd. Take Schoolhouse Park Rd Forest Service Rd #391 for about 3 1/4 miles until you know you shouldn't go any further unless you have an ATV or Jeep with skid plates... the rocks are quite large. The treeline at this point is a good place to park. But to even get to this point a 4 wheel drive is recommended and you need to be willing to negotiate a very rocky road.
At 1/2 mile in from the hiway in you'll come to a large closed gate that you'll need to make sure you close again after you go through, from here on there will be permitted livestock grazing (cattle). From here to parking will be very rocky.
After you reach the trees/parking area it is about a 1 1/2 mile run to the wilderness boundary along a 2-track road which is again super rocky.
From the wilderness boundary to Lake Angeline is just a little over 4 1/4 miles.
The majority of the running is through deadfall from a forest fire many years ago. Some pines are starting to grow back but aren't very big yet. About 1 1/4 miles in you'll come to a large grove of mature pines. Nice place for a break (note that if there are cattle grazing in the forest service they like it here too). Then as you start out of the pines there a few switchbacks that are quite rocky.
About 2 1/4 miles in you'll come to a second grove of mature pines. from here it starts to get steep in places and you'll encounter a lot of false summits thinking that "the lake must be right over this next hill". Nope.
If you are backpacking you might take note of a few places to camp as you get higher as there are really no good places the closer you get to the lake.
At about 3 1/2 miles in you start into some very steep and rocky sections and in some areas you'll need to keep your eyes open for rock cairns as you can lose the trail if you aren't paying attention. From here you'll be running through some boulder fields until you finally drop down into the lake basin. You made it. Quite awesome.
There are very few places to camp in this area, actually only one place that is grassy and level near the lake (you can't miss it), but back down the trail about 1/2 mile in the trees are some good places as noted above.
If you want an absolutely awesome view of the Frozen Lakes just run up over the saddle to the north for about 3/4 mile. Lots of boulder hopping but worth the time.
Flora & Fauna
We didn't see any wildlife along the way except for maybe a deer or two. But cattle might leave you a gift on the trail as well as horse manure from trail riders. At the lake and boulder fields there are lots of Pika barking. Some seem to be quite comfortable around humans. We met quite a few day hikers that go up for the day to fish, some hiking, some on horseback. We also took poles and caught a few, just catch/release. But I imagine that if you lived near here it would be something that you would do a few times in the summer, I was told the fishing is great.
Shared By: M. Lewis