dogs on leash
This is one of my favorite trails! What makes Sioux Charley so great is that there's a mix of everything - the rushing river in a rocky gorge, shaded areas full of aspens and other trees, little bits of meadow, crossing a stream or two, great mountain views, and the peacefulness of the "lake" at the end. It's also an easy hike that most folks can do. It is 7.5 miles roundtrip (not 6.5, as advertised). It took us 3 hours, 40 minutes to complete, but we did stop often to take photos of the beautiful scenery!
If you avoid the stairs at work, you should NOT get on this trail. Requires moderate fitness level but is very pretty. It is definitely worth the effort to make it to both lakes--I had a small snack at the first lake and took a little siesta at the upper lake, very serene and beautiful. Wear good hiking shoes because the trail can be gravelly, making it a little treacherous on the way down. Trail is very narrow against the mountainside in places. I saw a moose cow and her calf on the way down which was awesome!!
This is a beautiful hike, especially if you like walking on jagged rock! The first part is very serene and reasonably easy, but watch out for the second half, especially if you're 70 and have 2 artificial knees. Yikes! I'm still recovering 2 days later :-).
Definitely a moderate hike, however the elevation change is spread out pretty well. When you reach the second section of switchbacks be careful, you can easily miss the turn off for the lake. If you continue up these switchbacks you are heading up the trail to Mystic Lake. There is a tower of stones to help guide you to Phantom Lake. Very pretty area with nice views of the valley and lots of small creeks throughout the trail even through August. We ran into several groups during our day hike with a few being backpackers hiking through.