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Really amazing trail! I hiked it solo on 9/16/18. I was afraid of bears but did have spray. Just like everyone has posted, it is a moderately rocky trail so watch your step, almost no flat portions but no exposed slabs or anything like like, worth the hike!!!! Note, the rocks were a bit slippery because it had rained the night before. Make sure to wear hiking shoes. The trail took me under 2 hours to summit and a bit over an hour to descend. I am from CT and am used to hiking steep trails in the White Mountains but I am not used to the elevation. Bring water, a snack, and take your time.

The lake is freezing but I recommend jumping in anyway.

hiking
2 days ago

Stunning views for the duration of this trail.

hiking
5 days 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.

Busy trail. Best to head up early and on the weekday. Bring your fly rod, water and bear spray. Worth the rocky hike.

Beautiful views. At the right time of year, the wildflowers are amazing. Bring water and bear spray.

Loved this hike. I’m a beginner hiker so this was a bit difficult but it was beautiful and worth it. There are not very many flat spots so it continuously goes uphill but the lake at the top is breath taking!

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

Great hike, my son even made it and he’s only 5. Beautiful spot.

Great views, saw a Moose and two black bear at the lake.

Great trail - very scenic, easy at times and hard at times. It’s worth the view at the top. Our group consisted of 4 amateur hikers ages 46-72 and we made it. We earned our beer at Moonlight Basin afterward!

hiking
16 days ago

Did this hike on the 4th of July, very rewarding! Narrow so if taking young kids I would plan to pack them

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

hiking
16 days ago

This is a very good hike. We had just gotten off the plane when we hiked it so it seemed harder than it really is. I loved how there were lookout points along the way that you could stop at and just take in the view. The changes in terrain were also very cool. Of course the finale at the top was amazing. The view and the rock formations up there are definitely worth sticking it out.

It was cold at the top - bring long sleeves to throw on once you’re up there! It was stunning as usual. Moderate hike with light traffic.

hiking
17 days ago

Such a stunning view at the top! It’s absolutely worth the trip up!

A little rocky but is is worth the view

Its truly 5 miles even.... great views, great hike.....

Awesome hike! Saw a deer and a moose. The “lake” at the top is very much a small pond, but it’s worth it to hike up to the top of the rocks at the end for the beautiful panorama! Big and beautiful blue sky yesterday (8/26) but was pretty chilly at the top, make sure to bring layers!

Gradual grade with occasional slightly steep climbing. The views at the top are spectacular.
Small parking lot but that means it’s not terribly crowded though there are plenty of people along the trail.

This is always a great hike. Haven’t been here for several years. Beautiful lake at the top and clearly the results of a very good snow year there were still some wild flowers.

Good hike! Lots of people. My fit bit tracked it at 8.75 miles round trip. BRING WIND PROOF COAT FOR SITTING AROUND LAKE IF TAKING BREAK. Saw a really Nice 4 point BUCK on way out. Others on trail reported moose but we never did see it. Wildflowers are awesome especially at the base of upper pond.

25 days ago

Great hike. Got there about 9am, there was only one other car in the parking lot. The wildflowers are still out in full force. Smoky views from the top looking toward Lone Peak due to all the wildfires.

This was a nice slow hike through the woods. I got to the parking lot at around 830 am on a Friday thinking it would be crowded, but I was one of a couple of vehicles there. The trail is rocky but very doable. I had no problems with the trail or the hike. I seemed to be the only person on the trail at that time of day. it wasn't until I was getting close to the lake that younger hikers started passing me. It is a beautiful lake with wonderful views. On the return hike to the parking lot, the crowds were just heading up.

Rocky trail with some interesting creek crossing structures that work well until the it goes down a bit. Lots of friendly people and dogs out and about. Great destination for a quick break before you head back down.
And if you enjoy wild strawberries those should be ripe in the next few weeks!

A well populated trail. Despite the number of people who fill up the trail, the lake itself is huge, and there is opportunity to spread out a bit once you reach the lake. Nice spots to picnic or take a dip in the lake.

The trail has a little bit of everything. The possibility of a bear encounter, creek, treasures to find(and put back) like petrified wood, obsidian..., cows blocking your path on your way there(from pray), low traffic(we only saw one other couple on the path). I recommend climbing up to the peak of that area, it’s a bit scary if you are a newbs like us. We did find two pieces of petrified wood, we put them back right where we found them. To give you a hint, at one of the info signs, there’s a path that leads to a creek, it’s to the right of that path in the grass. The other piece we found looked like petrified wood that was also charcoal. It’s up on the taller peak. The creaking of the gate to enter the trail is creepy sounding like in a movie. I found wild raspberries on the trail that were delicious, there were also bane berries that are toxic, don’t eat those. I’ll add some images from our hike. Also, I’m on Verizon and I got zero bars most of the trail, one bar in the parking lot.

Amazing hike. Very popular so get there early.
A small lake near top with some swimming in it. We hiked about 1/2 mile further past a rock cliff for more views. Wild flowers everywhere. Most difficult part was past the lake, but very doable.
Was a little hazy the day we went, most likely due to wildfires in California/Oregon?

Nice steady climb up following switchbacks. Somewhat rocky making for loose footing at times. Views and several lookout areas on way up. At top, a neat natural rocky arch. Had lunch with quite aggressive chipmunks. No fear. Hikers in front of us encountered a deer. At bottom visit stream across from parking area to cool off.

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