Explore summer 2015 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

summer 2015 Map
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5 hours ago

Just visited today, hike is pretty easy until the steep part right before the lake as others have mentioned. The GPS location I got from AllTrails kept trying to make us take a private road on someone's property so I recommend stopping at the parking lot at the top of Guardsman Pass. Out of the 6 of us who swam in the lake only 1 found a leech on them so enter at your own risk!

My husband and I hiked this trail for the first time two days ago--excellent hike! On the way up it's a slow burn through the trees, with lots of gorgeous flowers. We started at 5 am and were able to enjoy seeing the sun slowly fill Primrose Cirque while ascending. After getting through the trees, the views are spectacular. We also saw many waterfalls, and wound up crossing one at least three times on the way up. We decided to turn back before going up into the trees leading to Emerald Lake, because we'd heard from others coming down that the ice field was too dicey to go through. Again, it being our first time going up, we decided to call it a day and headed back down. We will definitely try this again later in the season when the snow is melted more!

Great Hike go early gets a little warm this time of year.

I've done this twice this week and loved it both times. Hiked up the south side and ran down the north side of the loop. The run was through the trees in soft, powdery dirt. So much fun! Make sure to cut into the trees when the full downhill starts, otherwise you'll miss the powder and will be stuck on a rocky downhill.

It had been 25 or so years since I'd been up this side, and I'd also forgotten how much easier it is in comparison to the Aspen Grove Trail head. I just love the long climbing switchbacks across the terraces, and how the views in both directions are changing continually throughout the hike. Between the two and three mile marks (approximately) there is also excellent opportunity to see plentiful sea life fossils, if you know what you're looking for. Water sources become more and more limited as the season draws out, so be aware, carry plenty and consider a filter. This mountain is so amazingly majestic, and never disappoints, at least in my opinion. Even if you only plan to hike to the basin, this is one of the easier places to always spot Mountain Goats, which is always entertaining. Excellent hike, I need to knock this one out again before the season is finished!

hiking
1 day ago

beautiful lake, beautiful trail. it is steep and quitr demanding. I was breaking in a new backpacking pack and had a lot of unnecessary weight, so that was a huge factor. I think that if I'd done it with half the weight, it wouldn't have felt so hard. we were stopped by a big bull moose on the trail, and the trail is popular enough our group went from two to almost twenty whole we waited for him to move away. he took his sweet time and we sat around for about 20 to 30 minutes. :) i

It was a good trail and a great workout. I definitely recommend it, but not for kids under 12. we saw lots of kids who pooped out before the end (or less than a mile into the trail) and were riding piggy back. Also, bring plentu of water. it is shaded in the morning, but it was hot with minimal shade in the afternoon. It's "hard" for a reason. don't punish your kids or yourself.

hiking
2 days ago

Magic is the only word.

backpacking
2 days ago

We started at 5pm on a Friday. There were plenty of spaces to park. The incline isn’t bad, it’s the distance that makes this hike difficult. By 9pm, the sun went down and it was amazing! As you look down the valley, you’ll see people starting their hikes for sunrise. We made it to the meadow/basin area in 7 hours (we had large backpacks on requiring multiple stops), slept over, started our summit at 9am. It took us 2hrs to get from the meadow to the saddle. From the saddle on is where it gets tough; if you’re scare of heights, this is where you’ll have to debate if you’ll summit or not. Pass the saddle, you’ll do a bit of scrambling to summit. It took us another hour from the saddle to the shack to summit. I highly recommend bringing a lot of water and a filter. There’s not much water on the trail, all the spring falls are dried up now.
Totaled hours hike (for a slow hiker): 14hrs.

So beautiful along the whole trail. Amazing flowers and plenty of shade. Easy for small kids.

Beautiful hike! We started around 9:30pm and got to the Basin around 1am. I had some altitude sickness during the last mile that added some time. We camped in the basin and watched the sunrise then headed back down. Hard hike but worth it!

Tough hike. I took my 10 year old daughter on her first overnight backpacking trip. This was definitely a tough hike. Great fishing.

I have gone on this trail several times and each time, the lake never disappoints. It is rather hilly but is a wonderful experience with amazing views of the mountains and some meadows! I would highly recommend it!

hiking
4 days ago

Easy and short hike but it gets rocky and steep at the end. It was crowded and there were lots of dogs. I went there on a Sunday at 4:00pm. I saw some people swimming and fishing . Overall nice hike

Bring water and something to snack on at the lake. Amazing views of the great salt lake from several areas. Wear good shoes there are a lot of rocks to scurry over on the trail all throughout the hike.

Great hike. We camped at Emerald Lake and it was a beast with camping gear. In the morning we threw on day packs and hit the summit. Amazing views.

Very nice hike. The views are incredible. And to have the stream right along the trail was awesome! Will definitely do this hike again

Took the first step at 5:30 a.m. Hit the summit in 3 hours flat, back down in 2.5. Trail was beautifully uncrowded on a Sunday morning. Found myself face to face with a couple good-sized mountain goats, but they were super chill. Pretty wiped out, but a great hike!

hiking
4 days ago

They say it's hard. How hard can it be, you think? They're not lying - it's HARD. To the saddle it gets hard-steep but not hard-technical about 2.5 mi in, where for the next 0.6 mi you climb 1,000 ft and it's RELENTLESS. You go up rocks (imagine the rocks in a mountain stream) rather than a dirt trail. It definitely gets your heart rate up and your legs wobbly. It would be ok up to the saddle with a kid but challenging: a lot of times you have to step up higher than adult-knee high so for a kid it would be very tiring.
Once you get to the saddle, the way up to the summit is 500 ft up in 0.4 miles, and very technical. I would think twice about taking a kid there, or even someone who is not very sure-footed or who is scared of heights. Look in the photos for a picture by Christine Cote that looks straight up: that's the way you're going. You really have to look for footholds at every step. Going down is equally challenging.

Once you get to the summit though, you're on top of the world. No picture can do justice to the view there. You just don't want to leave.

Note that mid-August the streams were dry; no point in bringing a filter. Just bring plenty of water; I went through 2 L and ran out with about 1.5 mile to go.

1:56 ascent not stopping and at a solid pace, 1:36 descent jogging at times.

good short hike and very nice falls.

Great hike, though the smoke dampened the experience. Make sure to not stop at the first lake. There is no one at the other two if you go right as soon as you hit Lake Blanche and go to Lillian and Florence. Worth the extra mile or so. Wife and I (46 yrs old each)are in pretty good shape and are runners. We did the ascent in 1:34 and descent in 1:23, so if you are in good shape, you can comfortably do this pretty quickly and enjoyably. Would not be small child friendly IMO.

This is one of my most favorite hikes.

Entire summit was about 17.3 miles. We hiked it from 10am until 7pm. Very difficult but definitely worth it (especially seeing the mountain goats near emerald lake on the way up and way back down)! The air quality is really bad right now so the views are pretty hazy. But you should still make it to the shack for that overall sense of accomplishment! We saw a lot of people backpacking in around 6-7pm with hopes of camping. There didn't seem to be a ton of places to camp so that was interesting. A fellow hiker told us the chipmunks are so bad up there, they'll eat through anything you have. Anyways, do this one. You may hurt the next day but it's worth it!

Hiked this trail on 8/4/18. Started around 5:00 am and found very little parking available. We parked on the highway and walked to the trailhead. Hiked in the dark for an hour or so and then had all the spectacular views all the way up. There were so many people coming down from the top looking pretty miserable and tired. Overnight hiking is overrated. 3:40 to the top. and and about 3 hours to the bottom. 3L water. It was a fun day.

hiking
6 days ago

Loved this hike! A bit difficult but there are many opportunities to stop along the way and the entire time there are beautiful views so if you decide you don’t want to do the whole thing no worries you still get to see amazing views! Kind of crowded but friendly environment. 10/10 will do again.

hiking
6 days ago

A difficult trail but worth it! The view is amazing. Try to go early in the day if the weather is warm because a large portion of the trail is unshaded.

hiking
7 days ago

Loved this hike. It was pretty easy at the beginning. I did the first mile in under 30mins. Then it just got progressively harder. There were rocky sections off and on, which makes for a tough trail. It took me about 2 hours and 10 mins to get to the first lake and about an hour and 30 mins to hike back down. I clocked it as 3.7 miles from the parking lot bathrooms all the way up to where you see lake Blanche. It’s 4 miles if you make your way to the third lake.
I saw a deer, but sadly no moose. I brought bug spray, but never used it. I think if you are there early in the morning or in the evening you would probably need it, but late morning through the afternoon you should be fine without. I would consider the trail fairly exposed, depending on the time of day you go. I was in full sun most of the way down, which was around 2/3pm.
Have fun out there!!

We loved this hike. Started 6:30 am and had plenty of shade on the way up. We stayed exploring around the lakes for a couple hours and there was a lot more sun on the way down but lots of shaded areas still. Beautiful views at the top. Only a few hikers on the way up but passed by several who were headed up on our way down.

What happened to the rope swing

Pretty short and easy hike until the last bit as it gets a little steep/rocky right before the lake (still doable for kids or beginners though). Went on a weekday around 2 pm and it wasn’t crowded at all. Great views, great for swimming, and dog friendly!

This was a beautiful hike. There was always a beautiful view to look at. I left at 7:30 in the morning. There were only six hikers that I counted. But on my way back around noon there was constantly someone coming up the trail, making it difficult to get down in some spots. This trail is very heavily trafficked during mid day. I also do not consider this trail difficult. The last mile is the hardest but totally doable. Going down was much harder on me than going up. I brought up 2 L of water and one water bottle. I didn’t go through all of my water but it was close. I did spend a good 2.5 hours exploring the area once I hit the lake. It is quite warm on the trail in the mid day so bring lots of water. Totally worth it!

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