This is two hikes in one. You start traversing above the glacial valley of the Middle Fork of the Elk through aspens on a smooth dirt trail. Halfway through, you make an abrupt turn into a hanging valley. The trail becomes much rockier and steeper as you switchback through a profusion of granitic dikes. The Aspens give way to subalpine firs. Three Islands Creek cuts through the adjacent granite. After a nasty hour, you arrive at one of the most beautiful and pristine lakes in the state. This is not a long hike, but a steep one and the road to the trail head features all the washboard you could want, but we traverse the state in Prius, so if we make it you can. Don't go. I want it for myself.