Crescent Lake

19 reviews
hiking
1 month ago

Completed on 5/27/18. We were the first to do this hike this year as far as I could tell, if you’re coming in from the north you hit the first snow patch on the road 3/4 mile from the trailhead. I parked my SUV there because it was about a foot deep and I’d rather tack miles on than risk it. Up the road there is a large tree across the road completely blocking it so you would have the walk the last 1/4 mile or so anyway. You take a right onto the PCT from the road (there are signs), then head up. The trail sort of follows the ridge line, dipping south, until you get to the saddle between said ridge and cowhorn mountain where you turn off onto the climbers trail (easy to pick up even in the snow if you just stay on top of the ridge once cowhorn is in sight). Do not attempt this hike without a gps, as there is a ton of snow on the south side of the ridge on the PCT, and I had difficulties following my own footprints back even with the silver diamond markers on the trees. The first part of the trail is not bad but it becomes increasingly difficult to follow, being covered in feet of snow. That being said, I would not hike this in the afternoon or you will be sinking into feet of snow, it’s best done in the morning. That said this hike is completely doable for a seasoned hiker who has experience route finding in the snow. Trekking poles and microspikes could be useful as some snowy parts of the trail are on a steep sidehill. The peak itself has no snow, you can almost walk to the top. I tied my pets a little below the summit in the shade which I would recommend since it becomes very scrambley and the summit is small with steep drop offs. Amazing 360 views, overall this hike is well worth the slog and mental challenge of snow.