DISTANCE
6.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,666 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

nature trips

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

rocky

scramble

backpacking
3 months ago

This was an amazing trail, but a difficult one. Hubby and I were bringing in packs for an overnight stay, but even with day packs it would have been difficult. The first mile or so is straight uphill, with loose rock and a steep, steep incline. In the heat, I had a lot of difficulty getting up the trail.

That said, the payoff at the end is spectacular. It's worth spending the night (be prepared for the overnight chill!) if you can't leave early in the morning, or even just to spend the night. The lakeside camp area was closed when we arrived, so we set up camp down the trail a little way.

The lake is gorgeous, but mosquitoes clearly think so too, and they are abundant there, so be sure to bring bug spray for you and your pets (we were packing in with 5 dogs, and bug-sprayed the heck out of them). If you're planning on spending the night, be sure to stop at a ranger station and get a wilderness and fire permit. Camping without one in the national forest is not allowed.

A word of caution to the driver of whatever vehicle takes you to the trailhead - it's a rough road. If you can, take a car with decent ground clearance. If you can't, know that my little Hyundai Accent made it up, but we had to drive about 5 mph when the paving on the road vanished. Some of the washouts are pretty bad.

Parking at the trailhead is limited, but we were able to find a spot on a Sunday afternoon.

Overall this made for a great hike, and I highly recommend it :)