Originally Posted by outkastblast
Excellent report. Can you tell us a bit about the trail itself? I've never heard of it until you mentioned it originally. Total length? Elevation gain, etc?
The trail was a bit of a bear, especially with the very high pack weights we had counting the tubes, waders and all. It starts off with a roller coaster, up hill, down hill and back up over and over and over again for the first couple miles. Not huge climbs but a few hundred feet up then down then up again with a lot of weight gets old quick. Then for a while the trail is fairly flat with just a gentle grade that was not to bad. The last 1/4 mile is the worst, it's fairly steep and has a lot of loos rock, all the way to being scree in spots. At the crest of this your just a hundred feet from the lake. There were several decent camp spots around the lake and literally dozens of fire rings...like 15 groups of people had to camp around the lake on the same weekend and each need a fire. Some just a few yards apart. Other wise the lake was clean and I did not see any trash or other signs of abuse.
With day packs or UL gear the hike would not be to bad. It parallels the creek for most of the way but does not get to close most of the way. My GPS measured just over 4 miles each way, though the signs say 4.5 miles, not real far but with the up and down at the start and the climb at the end it felt farther. Again I know our heavy packs contributed a lot to that.
The road in could be done in a car with just a little caution in a few spots do to the ruts in the road from the spring snow melt.