backpacking
14 hours ago

Backpacked out of Courtright Reservoir with my 18 year old son. Took us 2.5 hours to get in and 2 hours out. Trail is pretty well marked with only a couple of instances where we needed to look around for additional identification. Moderate is appropriate - only the last segment has much in terms of elevation change. It's a really nice hike with wildflowers, creeks and vistas sprinkled along the route. There's also plenty of shade/cover during the hike. Cliff Lake is really nice and has a scenic quality to it with a sheer wall along its NW side.

Read a lot about mosquitoes and bugs which worried me prior to our departure. On the way in, with the trail being near a water source for a healthy part of the hike, you did notice the bugs, especially when you stopped. At Cliff Lake, however, I didn't think it was that bad. Maybe it was because it was later in the season. Maybe it was because we had a nice breeze during the day. But, the mosquitoes weren't that bad during the day (noticed the flys more but not a big deal). Come dusk to dawn, when the breeze calmed down, the mosquitoes did come out. Again, I wouldn't characterize it as menacing.

Day hiked to Rock Lake. There I thought the mosquitoes were much worse. Climbed a ridge and most of the surrounding lakes seemed to have a fair amount of marsh which would lead me to believe they, too, might have more bug issues than Cliff.

Cliff is popular. There are several quality campsites and they were mostly filled while we were there (say 15+ people in addition to us during our 2 night stay). That may/may not bother some people.

We caught 4 Brown trout (had to throw 2 back as they were too small). Plenty of jumpers during the morning and evening hours.

Overall, I/we really enjoyed our stay and would definitely come back again!