8 days ago

Wow...what a hike up to Griswold Lake at the base of Ruby Dome out and back. Accurately rated as 'hard'. We got a late mid day start. Had to park outside the locked Association campground gate and hike the 1.5 mile to the trailhead (well marked). The Ruby Dome trail parallels the creek up the canyon passing through a variety of landscapes. The lower canyon aspen grove was still ablaze with color. After the trees gave way to very steep rocky trail marked by kairns. The rock and scree were very challenging. The shear canyon faces were in the shade by 3pm and the cold air filled the canyon quickly. Exhausted we trekked through a few new snow patches up to Griswold at 9100 ft. Trekking poles were essential in both directions. In many places we had to crawl up the steep rocky trail on all fours.....The face of Ruby Dome and surrounding alpine peaks were dusted white. We hiked 3.5 hours one way nonstop from the gate to Griswold. The lake is a classic pristine cirque at the base of Ruby Dome not to be missed! Dont rush the descent...very tricky footing. Hike down was about 3 hours to return to the road. This hike is in my Top Ten!