Do not take the western trail shown that is NOT a trail anymore. We went up the “new west” trail which is a bit longer and took us about 7 hours to get to the western lake. You will definitely need a lot of water (we went through 6.5 liters to get to the lake and that was rationing till we could use the water purifier at the lake), good hiking boots, and poles. Bear spray would be wise too, we didn’t see any bear but there were many presents they left on the trail that looked fairly fresh. You also will need frequent baths in bug spray as the mosquitos, horse flies, and black flies and absolutely relentless during the day, in the evening they calmed down some. This trail is very steep particularly when you get close to the lake, in parts it is very slippery and often so covered with waist high ferns and that spiked demon weed stuff that you can’t see the ground. The lake was gorgeous and it was a pretty hike with not a soul on the trail, ancient cedars and nice Mountain View’s in a few places but extremely arduous. We decided to take the original west trail down that is shown on all the maps as we were concerned about losing light given the “2.5hr” trek we thought we were going to take ended up being the 7hr trail extension whew! So 2.5hrs down then a road walk to our RV sounded better. DO NOT DO THIS! IT IS NO LONGER A TRAIL ABOUT HALFWAY DOWN! Even steeper descent than before and still marked it seems like a trail at parts and overgrown at others until about halfway down where there’s a fallen tree and it gets very dense then the markers seem to disappear even though the app will show you on a trail. You’ll occasionally still see a marker but you now are in demon weed taller than yourself with lots of fallen trees you have to get through. It’s obvious this trail was abandoned and a compass is handy when finding your way out of that nightmare. Not quite the hike I was looking for. As an experienced hiker, had we not come fully prepared with our gear and packs that could have been a very dangerous situation. I’ve included my maps and tracks. Do not take the farther east way down, follow the longer New West Driscoll trail out. There is a handwritten sign on a tree but I doubt it will last long.

The bonuses of the trip after the battle wounds?
- No people quite peaceful
- Lake was gorgeous with beautiful wildflowers and crystal clear water
- Ancient Cedar trees along the path
- Pretty Mountain Views and I hear of you make it to the west summit it’s even better though I recommend preparing to stay overnight if you do that, you should not attempt the climb down in the dark

Not sure it’s worth the hike but maybe if the experience down wasn’t so bad I’d give it 3 stars. Definitely an adventure!

actually called the "treebeard" trail based on JRR Tolkien's The Lord Of the Rings

I did this hike yesterday with my brother, it was a good hike and a good work out. The veiws from the west end summit are breathtaking.
However the trail is steep and very narrow through most of the ascent and it isnt well maintained. Theres times when youre walking through waist high bush and cant see the trail beneath your feet. Also your walking in a cloud of mosquitoes the entire time you on the hike.
I would do it again but only as atleast a 2 day hike. Alltrails says its 13 km and the trail head map says its 14.5 km, my fitness app tracked it at closer to 20 km. This is not a hike to be taken lightly bring lots of water and wear good hiking boots that sit above the ankle. Youll need the support.

This trail is beautiful. Easy. Kid friendly

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