Explore ALPINE LAKES AND PEAKS - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.


Waterfalls everywhere. Snow everywhere. we were the only ones that made it to the lake and made fresh tracks. About ankle deep sometimes knee deep. The road was pretty brutal. I wouldn't tow anything (we did) but fine on a 2wd just tons of potholes

8 days ago

Love this hike to death. So much so that I plan to have my ashes scattered here. I’ve been coming here since I was a little boy. Nice 5 mile out-and-back scramble. Road to get here is doable in a stock Explorer or two wheel drive Ranger. I wouldn’t do this hike before mid June without snow shoes because the snow likes to linger in this sheltered region a little longer. Trout fishing is pretty good.

I camped at Lion Lake with a friend in early October. There were about three inches of snow on the ground once you got to the lake, but the views were breathtaking. We were the only ones on the trail and at the (small) campsite. The last mile or so was tough, but worth it. If you have winter gear I definitely recommend hiking this trail and camping when there’s a bit of snow.

it's an enjoyable easy hike with great scenery.

What a gorgeous trail! It's pretty steep to the first lake (5mi round trip) but significantly less steep to get to the second, larger like (8mi round trip). Totally worth going that extra 1.5 miles. We also found wild raspberries!

horseback riding
25 days ago

Rode my horse to Hyalite Lake and it was beautiful. Easy trailer parking, friendly folks on the trail, and very curious dogs! Trail was muddy in places where the stream flowed but the falls along the way and breathtaking views makes this trail stunning. A must see!

27 days ago

Hiked this trail on 9/20/2018. Relatively easy to moderate hike with a little bit of switch-backing during the last mile. Lots of bear scat on the trail so be safe. Bring a good bear spray and a firearm. Hike with a few people if possible.

We saw no bears, but plenty of small wildlife and beautiful scenery. The lake at the top is magnificent. No snow or ice as of today. Took us a total of 3 hours in and out, including the 30 minutes we spent hanging out by the beautiful lake. I would highly recommend it as the trail has very light traffic (literally only 3 other people showed up for the hike on a beautiful Thursday). It is also very well marked throughout. Great experience!

horseback riding
1 month ago

Awesome trail to a beautiful lake. The trail was clear all the way. Some steeper switchbacks at the end, but worth the climb. The lake is beautiful and we enjoyed fishing while we were there. Highly recommend. We rode in mid-September. Good fall color.

1 month ago

Fantastic hike. We did an overnight at Pine Creek Lake (windy and very cold at night in mid-Sept) and went up Black Mountain the first day. We went in on a Thursday and were the only ones camped at the lake. ~3.5 hours to the lake with packs, set up camp, and made our way to the summit by late afternoon. Lots of snow due to being late in the season. I would recommend having some climbing experience: parts of the ridgeline are very exposed and there is a short stretch of exposed technical climbing. The views are worth it though. For those interested, the fishing is good at Pine Creek and Jewel lakes.

1 month ago

I made it to the trailhead in a full-size sedan (Kia) without 4wd. The road is very rocky but I got there driving less than 5mph while using the entire road to maneuver around rocks and ditches. The trail to the lake is a pretty gradual climb, but the trail to the good lakes is very steep and poorly marked. It is worth the effort to get to them, but make sure that you pay attention to the trail you took.
This trail is pretty secluded so also make sure that you bring everything you may need in case of an emergency, namely a camera :)

Less busy trail. The portal creek road is challenging, best to have 4x4 or AWD with high clearance. Worth the drive and hike. Bring water, bear spray and your fly rod.

Great hike and beautiful hidden lakes, very tranquil Road is rough getting up to the trailhead, recommend a 4x4 or rental car.

1 month ago

Really nice hike! Lots of switchbacks and decently steep, but nothing someone who loves hiking can’t handle.

We went on Sept. 1st and the trail was great. It got quite windy at the lake but a light jacket was fine for that. The trail was short enough that the rapid elevation didn't tire me as much as I'd anticipated. I think it's closer to 5 miles out & back though. Will do this hike again next year!

P.S. I was worried about the road driving out there from everything I've read, but my AWD Ford Edge had no problems reaching the trailhead.

1 month ago

The previous reviewer is correct about the elevation. It is ALL uphill and very rocky. It was a tough hike with a backpack on. This was my first hike at this high of altitude, too, and it took a while to adjust. Once my ears popped a few times I felt so much better! Even though it was difficult, it was absolutely beautiful! Lots of amazing views and waterfalls. There's also many places you can access water along the way. A good portion of the trail is also shaded which was nice because it was a very hot day. The third bridge is still down but there are two logs set up that are easy to cross, one to walk on, and one to hold on to. Went to Blue Lake this time and will be definitely be doing this hike again to check out Twin Lakes.

Low traffic. Heavily shaded. Trail in good condition.

Absolutely gorgeous hike! Take the time to visit the many waterfalls that you pass on the way. It is completely worth it! Much harder trail than Grotto due to the length and the rocks. We didn’t make it to the lake due to us losing daylight and the rain. But definitely intend to start earlier next time and finish this trail. Ended our journey at Chasm Falls which has the little bridge. Pack lots of water, you’ll need it. Saw a few wildflowers on the way.

Very nice hike, popular so lots of others there too.

the trail is great and especially the Lake ans the campspots Theresa BUT be aware that first the Rock creek Lake and everything around ist private property... so toll get to the trail you have to Cross private property and second the Road to the trail ist Hardcore... our suv almost did not make ist... better have a 4wd or Something more for driving over Rocks...

This trail was a good half day trip! It was a truly magical place! There are a number of lakes up there and they are all connected! There are also some great vantage points on the way up

Just hiked up to the ridge line with my girlfriend and small dog. 100% breathtaking. Lakes are gorgeous, weather was perfect. No bear sightings

My dad, my 14 year old daughter, and I hiked in for my dad’s 62nd birthday. We spent two nights at Lion lake and fished both lakes. It was the perfect trail, with just enough difficulty to make it challenging yet enjoyable. We’re already planning another trip back!

Love this hike! It’s a good hike and a rewarding view at the top! We started our hike at 6am which was perfect because it was cool for us through the burn area!!

Five star hike with waterfalls around every corner and serene lake at the end. It is incredibly gorgeous. There are still some wildflowers at the top. The smoke was bad, but not terrible.

It is a steady climb, so not too difficult. If you want to cut it short, go 4 miles to see a waterfall that you can sit under. As you cross the bridge over a smooth rock base, look up the hill! walk up the hill on the left, you can go right up to it and hang out underneath. This was my favorite part!

Very pretty trail! Word of advice— as you walk along the creek, keep an eye out for the makeshift bridge, or you’ll end up leap frogging logs only to find a dead end. Maybe that’s a newbie mistake, but it cost me 20 minutes round trip haha. This is towards the beginning of the trail, when you’re right beside the creek in the trees. I’d also recommend going to the second lake; while the first lake is cute and scenic, it is more the size of a very large pond. The second lake is a proper mountain lake, located in a small crater with large mountains rising beside it. Worth the trip.

Beautiful easy hike. Can be kind of confusing where to turn off the main trail to the lake. Easy Incline until the last ~.3mi turn off and your headed straight up to the lake. It’s a horse trail so be prepared for a lot of horse sh*t.

2 months ago

been there many times. I always enjoy the varying terrain and scenery.

the trail was great! the hike is more like 5 miles one way not 6 in and out. my pedometer listed it as 10.09 miles in and out. the lake was absolutely beautiful and well worth the hike in. there are 3 water crossings on the way up, but they are easy to get across!

My nine year old daughter and I hiked this trail last weekend. It was a good challenge for both of us. Great trail. Awesome views. First part of trail was nicely shaded. We will do it again!

2 months ago

Great hiking trail. I would definitely do it again. Beautiful scenery the entire trail length up to Lost Lake. The hike wasn’t very vigorous with elevation gain or strenuous exercise but the 5 mile journey was definitely worth the view! As I said, overall, would definitely do it again!

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