This was an amazing hike from start to finish! The majority of the time you are next to the river and in a pine forest that provides some nice shade. The last third or so is opposite the old lava/obsidian flow, which provides for some other worldly sights as well. The finale at the lakes is just spectacular and well worth the effort to get there. It really is a hike with something for everyone. At this time of year (June 7) the trail was still about 50-60% snow-covered, but the path in the snow was well worn and easy enough to follow. The lakes are partially frozen still, but that just adds to the beauty. I can see why this trail is so popular but ended up seeing only about 10 other hikers on the path.