Explore the most popular nature trips trails near Stanley with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

We read a lot of reviews and guides for this hike before leaving because everything was so conflicting. The last mile of the hike is definitely the most difficult part. There's a good section of steep gravel leading up to the first waterfall overlook. When you get to the rock wall on your right if you continue walking the base of the wall you will find the more staircase type section that is easier to go up, and that will be the start of the steepest part of the hike. Once you get to the waterfall overlook it is easy to miss the easier trail leading through the woods, so on the way up we went through the rock field. You can definitely avoid this by trying to stay as far to the left following up the waterfall and then you will find a beaver dam to cross above the falls. In that section there are a few times that it will look like the trail has ended but it hasn't, just keep pushing along and there are multiple different ways through the trees. Once you get to the falls you are pretty close so if you've made it that far, keep pushing on because it's definitely worth making that last little climb.

We went on a weekend and backpacked in, there were definitely a good amount of people camping up there so it was a bit "crowded" but mainly because there are only about 5-7 different spots along the lake to set up camp. We tried following the path along the lake to get our own private area but encountered others along the way that said they didn't see anywhere to set up down on the SE corner of the lake. By that time our packs were heavy so we headed back to the main area and grabbed a spot on higher ground which was still really great.

A few people were fishing and we saw some small trout in the lake. We got in for a swim and some guys were jumping off one of the higher rock areas but the water was quite cold as to be expected.

Great get away, my little corgi like dog made the hike and loved it, but he is like a little mountain goat. There were a couple areas on the trail up at the top, following the lake where we had to pass him because his short little legs couldn't make the jump, but the rest of the way up he made it up on his own. I was a little wary of bringing him because of some things that I read, but he is spry and good at climbing so he did well. Bigger dogs that love hiking should do just fine, and little dogs that love hiking might need a hand here and there but can make it as long as they are tough.

Really nice hike with many creek crossings. I will do this again next time I take a trip to this area. Fourth of July Lake is a beautiful stop, but trail continues. It adds another 3/4 to 1 mile to go past a pond and descend to Washington Lake. Really stunning location to spend some time. Peaceful, clear water, and a nice ridge line across the lake. We didn’t take the trail any farther. Wildflowers were still blooming, especially in more lush areas by creeks. Pretty awesome microclimates. Trail is fairly wide. No insects (early-mid August).
There was a 10 mile trip in on gravel road to get to the trail head. The last 6 miles of which is an area burned by a wildfire perhaps 5 years prior.
3 horses and later, 3 dirt bikes also went up during our hike. They all passed respectfully. We saw a good number of other hikers, but it wasn’t crowded. Many were backpackers coming in from much longer treks in White Cloud. Loved the hike!

Starts with a beautiful walk in a valley and ends with a fun but tough scramble up to the falls (the route on here doesn’t include the scramble). The stretch in the woods inbetween is unspectacular.

backpacking
6 days ago

Unbeatable scenery but day one is extremely tough. Going over the top of the peak with full packs and then down a field of scree was as unappealing as it sounds. The majority of the loop: four lakes basin, boulder chain of lakes, way up and down castle divide and the chamberlain lakes was worth all the hard work!

backpacking
6 days ago

This was an amazing loop. The only reason I give it a four instead of a 5 was the route finding before the established trail was a bit much for me. The scree scrambles down Patterson were not my favorite, to say the least. Also the trail from Patterson Peak to Quiet Lake was either non existent or impossible to find. Everything else about the loop was unbelievably amazing. So many lakes, viewpoints, wildflowers.

backpacking
6 days ago

We did this as part of the White Clouds loop backpacking. Lovely lake and hike.

backpacking
7 days ago

Amazing trek! Absolutely stunning 360 degree views from the top of all passes (worth the off trail scree scramble). You hike by, camp, or view at least 20 different high alpine lakes - all gorgeous! Fishing was great! Wildflowers were on point! I have a happy and tuckered dog!

hiking
7 days ago

What a fantastic hike!! Did this today, and the gradual incline is just enough to keep you honest and the overall out and back distance is far enough to make it count! Go early on a warmer day as there’s not too much shade. Beautiful scenery, fabulous views! Hits all the high marks!

Excellent family hike with my 2 year old strapped to my back. Great views at the turn back point and all along the way.

Went last weekend. Served its purpose. My 13yo sons first loaded overnight trip. Lots of rocks, horse poop and dust. Trail is well marked and easy to follow. There is a lot of traffic. Get there early and get a spot. Fishing is way better on the back side of the lake. We had no bug problems as the wind was blowing. If not take 100% deet. Good experience

Stunning!! Like being in a Nat Geo pic! Beautiful every step of the climb. Lake is awesome. Couple times a day you can hear the thunder-like rumble as snow avalanches into lake.

Caution: last half mile is steep. trail is unmarked (very hard to follow) and has overgrowth. Be careful. Taking your time. Wait and follow other to follow easiest path forward.

tough hike with the 50lb backpack!

Well, this is a beautiful trail. The first part of the trail doesn't have a whole lot of shade, but there are places where there is a creek bed where dogs can cool off. There is a fairly short section that has an incline, but not too bad at all. There is a river crossing that does have some logs across it that make it possible to cross without wading through the water. After the first river crossing; the trail is super easy and well shaded. There is a wooden sign attached to a tree (not sure on distance from the river, but a mile-ish...) that directs you to the right to get to Bridal Veil Falls. You will go down that trail a short distance and come to another river crossing. This one doesn't have logs across it that I found, so I just took my shoes off and waded through, definitely was a nice cool down! At this point however, is where that 5th star left my rating. To get closer to the falls, it is a very steep and not really well marked or clear trail unfortunately, so I didn't feel comfortable enough to go all the way to the falls (was by myself).
I still love this trail, and will do go again. The views are amazing!!

My husband and I hiked up to this Lake a week ago, we backpacked in and spent the night it was our first trip overnight and it was well worth it. The last mile of this hike is tough but they hike is so well worth it. The fishing was great at about 7 at night

I am not going to rewrite the entire route directions, but we were given some hints from fellow hikers that were AWESOME helps:
1) Granite wall - there is easier access to start your climb into the scree field - still a granite wall but with "Steps" that make an easier climb. Once you are at the spot just at/before the falls where you see the big granite wall to your right - keep walking straight and to the right as the trail bends around the granite wall. Where the granite butts up against the scree field you will see some natural formed steps that make it easier to climb up the wall into the scree field.
2) YOU DO NOT NEED TO CROSS THE BOULDER FIELD TO GET TO THE LAKE!! There is a shorter/easier route. At the top of the scree field - you'll be above the top of the falls just entering the boulder field. Look to your left for the beaver dam that is above the falls in shallow/calm water. That beaver dam is where you will cross on the LEFT side of the water/creek. Once you spot the beaver dam, you will easily see the trail the leads from where you are standing through a wooded area to that beaver dam. Once you cross the beaver dam it's a short easy hike to the lake (I posted a picture of this)
3) The All Trails map/location indicator was spot on - there are a couple places in the scree field where we used the indicator to make sure we were still on trail. It winds around a bit in there - so the location indicator was a good confidence marker.

backpacking
23 days ago

Gorgeous area with amazing views. Note that climbing up and descending Patterson Peak is done on loose scree fields. We were also unable to find the second half of the windy devil switch backs. I’m not sure if we lost the trail or if a rock slide washed the trail away.

I couldn't find the lake made it to a dead end with no option to climb over

We decided to do Lady Face falls which I cannot seem to find on all trails as it’s own thing. Lady Face falls is in a nice cool canyon just right off the path about 2.4 into it. The flat first miles with views of McGown peak are nice as well.

This was a fantastic hike. We started on trail at 9am and had nice cool morning first three miles.

The last mile was brutal because we followed a path down under the falls, then had to hike all the way back up over the falls. That last mile, as many have stated, is difficult. Especially with our puppy and two small girls. Lots of gravel and just hoping your headed the right way.

The lake is extremely pretty. Clear blue water with ice up on the rim. Took a quick and cold dip into it. We only went to lake but heard many stories of others going beyond to the peaks.

We probably saw a total of three groups the whole hike. With maybe a total of 10 people at the whole lake.

Make like a goat and scramble the last few hundred yards. Intense! The reward is worth it.

Great hike in. Lake is gorgeous. The last section is climbing thru boulders along the falls. Well worth it.

backpacking
30 days ago

Amazing hike! The boulder chain lakes are amazing and well worth the trip. Devils staircase is a little treacherous and I wouldn’t recommend it to people new to backpacking. Bring your camera and be prepared to take lots of photos.

Took twelve Boy Scouts up with their dads. Awesome hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Went on 07/12/2018 and it was a great hike right next to Redfish Lake. Go for a hike and cool off at the lake afterwards. Wonderful views check out my posted pictures to see. Highly recommended

Beautiful hike up, crosses streams and creeks the whole way. Pretty easy hike with a good deal of shade. The view up at the lake is very pretty. Bring bug spray!

hiking
1 month ago

This is a great hike for grandparents and little ones. It is pretty flat and easy. Gorgeous wildflowers and the meadow/marsh at the end was perfect for soaking feet and taking in great views of the mountains.

Beautiful hike. Some open fields in the beginning with gorgeous views of McGowan Peak. The hike itself is very easy with little gain. We never really got a good view of Brideveil Falls, but there is a little trail off to the side before you reach the rover crossing to see the other set of falls that were good. You can climb down on the rocks to get a really good view here. The river crossing was easy, but it did go up about 1.5ft and was about 20ft across (and is quite cold). We could have turned around at the crossing and it still would have been a great hike.

backpacking
1 month ago

I did a modified version of this loop. Beware that the trail from Patterson Peak to Quiet Lake doesn’t exist - or at least I couldn’t find it. I went from quiet lake over the ridge to four lakes basin. Once again a very steep descent with no clear trail. Mosquitoes at all lakes are very intense and even with bug spray can get very tiresome. I would rate this trail as difficult (at least the first half).

The first mile in by the side of the creek was very pretty. Not as many wildflowers as we had seen elsewhere. The next 3 miles to the Wilderness registration is fairly flat hiking through trees with mountain glimpses but not big views. After the registration site it is just short of 2 miles to the lake and after hiking through trees for 2 hours the whole view opens out. Spent an hour at the lake taking photos and a picnic. This was a Saturday so quite busy...many backpackers coming out having hiked up to Imogene Lake. Overall a really nice day hike.

Load More