hiking

lake

forest

views

river

birding

nature trips

dog friendly

fishing

walking

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

horseback riding

wildlife

wild flowers

trail running

This hike was magnificent. I recommend starting before 10am if you want to do the whole thing in a day. I didn't come across many mosquitos at all. Weather was beautiful and the lake is a great place to stop and take a dip in before or after taking on the steep part of the trail. I will definitely be coming back here for a camping trip.

Mosquitoes not bad. LOTS of people on the trail as we hiked out Saturday and the lot was overflow. But a great place to spend the week.

We missed trail to clear lake but that was Ok cause there was a connector trail from Black Joe trail to clear lake. Beautiful alpine scenery, Did this trail clockwise and glad we did cause trail down ravine past Miller lake was very steep. If you want to follow trail to Clear Lake you must hug trail to stream after crossing stream at end of Big Sandy Lake. Nice area to base camp also.

Parking lot was jam packed. Trail was great. Camping was beautiful. We stayed on the south side near between both lakes.

Just finished this hike early today. We did the loop with a night at Big Sandy and the second night at Dads lake.

The Cirque is a great spot, but stopping there is a mistake. Views from Texas Pass are amazing and a great sense of accomplishment accompanied summiting. Shadow Lake and Dads lake are also gems that would be missed if not doing the loop.

In the 25 miles trail navigation difficulty was only an issue at Lonesome Lake/Texas Pass area as cairns seem to be all over. However, this was also a highlight for my wife who loved scrambling through boulders. You will work hard to get to top, just to look down and see that your heading straight down. BUT it’s well worth it.

This hike offers streams, lakes, peaks, forests, wild flowers everywhere. Only thing we missed out on seeing was wildlife.

**As for mosquitos, I only had a problem when I didn’t spray. When I sprayed they seemed to leave me alone.

backpacking
17 days ago

Did this gorgeous hike July 22nd-25th. Started the hike late on Sunday and decided to camp at Miller Lake. We had the entire place to ourselves! We spent two nights at Island Lake and hiked to the basin and back for a day trip. The weather was incredible, but the bugs were incessant. I’d definitely recommend deet, long sleeves and pants, and a face net. Even with all of those items, it was still rough to stand still outside of the tent for longer than 10 minutes. The scenery was out of this world, and I would gladly do this hike again. It was more challenging than people made it out to be, but it was not brutal.

The parking lot was overflowing, and the trail was moderately crowded. I enjoyed the views of the river that runs adjacent the trail. We camped on the southwest side of Big Sandy Lake where the outlet flows into the adjacent lake. Beautiful spot. Mosquitoes weren't as bad as expected. Big Sandy is a great place to base camp with several day hike options. I'll be back!

Beutiful easy hike lots of bugs at shadow lake and dads lakes
Great campsites did not see any animals

We did the out and back in a day, 4th of July week, last few miles back we were dragging ass but for us Floridians that get to the mountains twice a year it was an accomplishment, lol. the squitters, if working together, could've picked me up and taken me away but like I said we're from Florida so we've encountered these swarms before. Repellent repellent! Absolutely beautiful and we can't wait to come back and spend a few days, and nights, exploring the side trails!

backpacking
1 month ago

Easy access to the trailhead. Trail was a little crowded, but not terrible. Trails were well maintained.

Mosquitoes during our trip were bad if there was not a strong breeze, but the water made the wild flowers amazing to view.

Views from Seneca lake on were absolute stunning. The basin was amazing. Island lake was the most crowded area, but if you try hard you can find a good campsite anywhere.

I imagine in the later part of summer the streams and lakes will be much drier which would make parts of the hike easier, but also would take a little bit away from the views.

WORD OF WARNING - hiked from Big Sandy to Dad's Lake on July 4th. There were CLOUDS of mosquitos, hundreds, thousands... more mozzies than I've ever seen. Even with face nets and clothes on head-to-toe it was unbearable.

hiking
1 month ago

Mosquitos are as bad as advertised. Scenery is so out of this world that who cares about the bugs?

Did this in two nights with one campground above Island Lake. Snow, mud, and stream crossings were the biggest obstacle. As summer continues, the snow will melt, the mud will dry, the streams settle. Definitely doable. No need for traction.

Just watch out for post holing, snow is getting unstable in places.

The most difficult part is the last 5 miles back to the trailhead. And that is all mental.

Yes, fairly crowded for the backcountry, but the sort of people who do hikes like this seem like all right people to me.

hiking
1 month ago

Did the loop. Great and also brutal in one day. Took trail to right and over Jackass Ridge. Eventually passed over Texas Pass. Would recommend starting fro the Shadow lake side. Very steep down Texas ridge into next valley. Slid out of control with full backpack on snow. If you see streaks of blood, carnage and a broken pole that was me. Luckily it ended up ok but recommend bring a friend. Quite muddy on Shadow lake side, Dad's Lake area. Beware mosquitoes especially around 6 pm. Deadly. I saw a pack of them pick up a child and fly away. In any case so beautiful.

My wife and I only had a few hours to spend in Pinedale, so we decided to take the first 4-5 miles of this trail out to Photographer’s Point. It was time very well spent. The views aren’t easily described and I can only imagine the reward of hiking well on into the Winds. We will certainly be back when time permits. Trail notes: easy and gently sloping but quite wet with snowmelt and mud. The portion we completed could easily be ascended in less than 2 hours with dry conditions.

Stunning, well worth it

Beautiful but still covered in way too much snow as of June 10th. We made it to Shadow Lake but post-holed the last 2.5 miles and could not make the trek over the pass to the South side of the Towers

on Pole Creek Trail

backpacking
2 months ago

Easy trail that is very crowded. Too many stock animals.

on Titcomb Basin Trail

fishing
2 months ago

Even with all the crowds it’s worth going once. Great views and easy well marked trail. Wish this was a foot travel only area and no stock animals.

hiking
3 months ago

took my children into dads lake and out in one day. It was a very well maintained trail that was easy to walk with the kids. Beautiful views the entire way in and out.

Breathtaking. The best hike of my life.

Beautiful but very crowded!

Loved every moment of it

A favorite place to hike into, then take day hikes out each day to many spots. Although the trail is heavily used, it never seemed out of control. We would encounter 1-2 groups only on each trip and briefly.

Amazing place. But instead of out and back, consider doing a loop hike, traveling in though Shadow Lake and over Texas Pass sand out via Big Sandy Lake. While climbing Texas Pass is no picnic, we thought it was considerably easier than climbing Jackass Pass from Big Sandy.

An absolutely spectacular hike. The views are incredible.

Did an overnight out and back hike to Cirque of the Towers in August. The views and the hike was amazing, but also very strenuous. The trail is pretty level to Big Sandy Lake, but then rapidly climbs in elevation from there. It should be known though that once you pass Big Sandy, the trail can be very difficult to follow at times as it gets rockier. Some kind souls have set up rock cairns to mark a route, we tried to follow these but still managed to get off track a few times.
On the way to the Cirque we kept to the right of Arrowhead Lake and encountered a snow field. We crossed without harm, but I won't be doing it again unless I have proper equipment. On the way out however, the snowfield had frozen over and was much more slick than the previous day so we talked to some people who had went the opposite way around Arrowhead lake which involved a whole lot of scrambling over large boulders. We decided this would be the safer way and descended down to there. There is not trail so you have to navigate your own way over the large boulders, this was very time consuming.

Although the trail was very hard and demanding, it really required you to think and was quite a challenge, which I love. As I'm sure you have already heard, the mosquitos are terrible, bring a lot of bug spray and wear it even if your clothes cover your skin, as they bite through them. Get started early enough to give yourself enough time to explore your camp, next time I will be making this a 3 day trip because I would have liked to have spent more time doing so.
Truly breathtaking views and an amazing experience that made all of the challenges worth it!

camping
11 months ago

So many good views. The trail is easy to follow and not obscured. Moderate and gentle inclines/declines. You pass a good amount of water so if you can treat it, you don't need to pack it in. Plenty of places for camping.

11 months ago

Bugs were light, trail was continuously scenic, weather was great.

backpacking
Saturday, August 05, 2017

Amazing 3 day backpack loop in late July with overnight stops at Shadow Lake and Big Sandy Lake. Can't say enough about it - highly recommend! Plenty of snow, water crossings, and misquitos but nothing compared to the fantastic trails, views, waterfalls, lakes, mountains, peaks, wild flowers and adventure. We took yaktrax for snow, but didnt need them - hiking poles were enough for us. Took the wrong path around Arrowhead Lake - don't recommend the boulder side unless you enjoy that experience with backpacks :-(. Breathe it in and enjoy!

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