hiking

lake

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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
6 days 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
10 days 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
12 days 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
1 month ago

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

on Titcomb Basin Trail

fishing
1 month 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
2 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
10 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.

10 months ago

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

backpacking
11 months ago

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!

backpacking
11 months ago

Did a 3 day loop July 28-30 from the Big Sandy Trailhead to Shadow Lake over Texas Pass into the Cirque then out over Jackass Pass back to the car. Even late in July, snow made the passes pretty intense and the mosquitoes were bad. We agreed that doing the loop in reverse (Big Sandy up Jackass Pass) would have been much, much harder. I'd rather go up, than down, a very steep, snowy pass (Texas Pass). And, there was a pretty tough part going down Jackass pass to Big Sandy Lake that I was glad I was going down rather than up. The area is popular for a reason, but we found plenty of peace and quiet despite the many people we met on the trail. Overall, this was the most stunning and amazing hike and I loved it.

Oh, also there is a sign posted at the trail head that there are habituated black bears near many of the lakes where camping is popular (e.g., Marm's, Shadow, Cirque, etc.) It says that bears can cut down the ropes of bags hanging from trees, so bear cans are highly recommended. What were we to do? We were already 2 hours into the sticks so we were stuck with our bear bag. It all worked out, but we wish we had known in advance.

We hiked about 8 or 9 miles in and we camped beside Square Top Mountain. the views were incredible! the mosquitos were horrible, and resistant to every kind of bug spray! If I hike this again, I will pack a few citronella candles, they would be worth the added weight. The beginning of the trail is tricky to locate, we thought it followed the lake edge at the beginning, there is a trail there, but it quickly turns into mountaineering on a briar covered cliff face. When you get to the lakes edge, before the woods starts and a small creek is flowing downhill, look up to the right. The trail is a hundred or so yards uphill and where it enters the woods. On our way out, we stopped a couple groups from repeating our mistake.

backpacking
11 months ago

Did the loop big sandy to jack ass ( shortcut over arrowhead.. not so short as we were heading to texas) over texas pass and around by marms dads etc. great hike liked this route as easier trail when tired but as of july 22 be aware lots o snow arrowhead on and texas pass to texas lake yikes steep and snowy bring your micro spikes wish we had. bugs were ok not great but lots of river crossings from shadow lake to parking lot bring extra socks :) we went to bug sandy then texas lake then out long last day but honestly easier then big sandy to texas. Cirque was awesome highly recommend

hiking
Monday, July 17, 2017

It was an adventure! Cool beautiful beaver damn/lake. Hike was good for as far as we got - a skunk chased us, tail in the air, rear end facing us. We ran like hell! I think the skunk was protecting it's young. We waited a while and tried passing again but the skunk came after us again. We left!

Sunday, July 09, 2017

great area with amazing fishing. Very remote.

backpacking
Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Did this over 4th of July weekend, we started from the Dad's lake side, following the shadow lake trail to form a backpacking loop. Hardest things:
1. Very wet trail with a lot of stream crossings (lost one trekking pole cuz the water is too fast)
2. Sooo much snow over Texas pass, we were the first group to pass and a lot of backpackers turned around. It's doable with microspikes
3. Crazy amount of mosquitos near big sandy lake and anywhere lower, I'd suggest camping at Dee lake, shadow lake to avoid them
But! Still a gorgeous hike.

hiking
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Partially hiked this on June 27. The mosquitoes and stream crossings were miserable this early in the year, and there was way too much snow to safely finish the hike.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

AWESOME

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