Absolutely love this hike. No idea why it’s rated as hard though. Unless you are doing the adjoining hike to Bander mountain as well, this is a very moderate hike. I did both - climbed Bandera and then hiked down to the lake on a Wednesday afternoon and it was absolutely gorgeous. I didn’t have a single soul to share the views with in Bandera and even by the lake there was hardly anyone else. Do this on a weekday and your experience will be richer.