• Profile
  • Lists
  • Maps
  • Recordings
  • Completed
  • Stats
  • Reviews
  • Photos
  • Profile

    Member Since January 2017

    Luke Newton Pro-red@3x

    Indianapolis, Indiana 

    Favorite Activities

    Recent Activity

    Luke Newton reviewed High Divide - Seven Lakes Basin Loop

    12 days ago

    Did the loop October 1st - 3rd counterclockwise with overnight stays at Lunch Lake and Heart Lake. The weather was showing 2 mostly sunny days (following however 5 inches of snow on the Divide the night before) I decided to take my chances that by the time I would get there it wouldn’t be too bad - but packed expecting the worst should the weather change. Luckily the weather held and I had an amazing trip!

    The trail started out easy enough and gets progressively challenging as you climb with your pack. I’m flat footed so I am a slower hiker than most and the path was increasingly tricky with planning my footfalls around rocks. Hiking poles made this much easier to navigate and lighter on my knees. The best thing is that you have increasingly beautiful views to reward you for the effort. The fall colors are out in force and an added beauty.

    The biggest challenge was a geological event that has created a boulder field and obfuscated the path right before you descend to Lunch Lake. Be sure to follow the cairns and don’t make the mistake I made and miss the brief climb up out of the boulder field that brings you to the Lunch Lake descent (otherwise you will just end up back where you started) Luckily I bumped into an amazing group who was staying at Lunch Lake that night too and we found it together.

    The descent was steep but by then I was ready to get to camp so it goes fast. Lunch Lake is beautiful and the first night was clear and beautiful for star gazing. Temps weren’t too bad with the first day hike being 50 in the highs and 30 or so for the low. Layers were the key to a restful sleep.

    Got an early start the next morning and had to muscle up for the climb out which is much different than descending! But once you get out the climb up to the Divide is absolutely stunning. It got progressively colder but never uncomfortable. A unexpected occurrence happened as I was scaling the side of one of the mountains...I got a signal! So I had a brief but very amazing video conversation with my wife and son while staring at the vast mountain views while straddling the side of a cliff!

    Once I got within a couple miles of the Divide the route became snow covered but nothing that good hiking poles couldn’t help navigate (though I busted my butt once so be careful :) After some persistence I got to the Divide and was rewarded with clear snow covered mountain views. I can honestly say this was one of the most beautiful 360 degree views I have ever witnessed. All the climbing is duly rewarded with a once in a lifetime experience. Stop here, drop the pack, and take it all in.

    The decent into Heart Lake remained snow covered right until I got to camp which was wet but snow-less. I had all of Heart Lake to myself and the sun was out all afternoon bringing an almost summer feel when in direct sunlight. I was truly lucky to be here at this time - it was beautiful and full of complete solitude. Again, 30 degree night full of amazing star gazing.

    The next morning was clear with some possible rain by noon so I started out early at 8am. The descent into Sol Duc was very quick since it is almost entirely downhill and mostly gentle. The last 5 miles in the forrest were muddy but also beautiful in its own way. I was able to get out by 11:30am and the possible weather never appeared outside of a few drizzles.

    To finish the trip I had a massage booked at the Sol Duc Springs resort and spent quite a bit of time in the hot springs with my new friends I had met on the trail at Lunch Lake. We retreated to the Sol Duc campsite (which ironically were next to each other) and shared stories the rest of the night over hot cocoa and whiskey.

    Couldn’t have been a better finish to the trail and one that will be etched fondly in my memory for the rest of my life.

    Luke Newton saved Glacier Basin Trail

    9 months ago

    Luke Newton saved Skyline Trail

    9 months ago

    Luke Newton saved Maple Pass Trail

    9 months ago

    Luke Newton saved Rainy Lake Trail

    9 months ago