Jesse

World Traveler and Adventure Seeker with a side of Photography and Backpacking

Contributor

almost 2 years ago

A great day hike with epic views, good early season hike

Parking: large parking lot almost completely full with people parking down the road, road is full of pot holes but any car can make it. I'd either get here early or come afternoon when the worst of the crowds have left. Crowds: fairly heavy traffic but not too bad (less than Mt Si or Serene Lake), decreased greatly when you left the Ira Spring trail and started straight up the mountain. Weather: warm, mostly sunny. Snow: significant snow to cross at the very highest altitude but it wasn't as bad as Mason Lake which we did on the same trip. Conditions: trail is well maintained, once you leave Ira Spring trail it goes straight up the mountain and is somewhat difficult simply because of the incline and then the snow near the top. View (8/10): Amazing 360 views of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Mason Lake, Putrid Pete, Mount Defiance, Snoqualmie Pass, Mt Rainier. Photography (7/10): bright mid day light, otherwise good views, would like to come back with better lighting. Would I do it again? Yes.

Contributor

almost 2 years ago

Excellent day hike.

Parking: lots of parking, at 2:35pm there were surprising number of cars, probably 40 or so. Crowds: many people coming down, trail work near the top, only a handful of people around the lake. Up:1:20. Down: 1:10. Weather: cool and cloudy. Snow: none on or around the trail, a bit in the shadows on the mountain flanks, lake was ice free. Conditions: trail is in excellent condition, the first mile or so is through thick undergrowth and thus not as pretty, from there you spend the remainder of the hike in beautiful forests, an occasional tree across the path, trail work near the top. View (8/10): no sweeping long distance panoramas here, but a beautiful blue colored lake with cliffs rising high above it on one side, there are many either old or unofficial trails around the lake which can provide unique and beautiful views unlike the ones you typically see, of course these views are a bit more dangerous to get to so be careful. Photography (9/10): beautiful blue lake photography opportunities, best in my opinion on an overcast but no foggy or rainy day. Would I do it again? Absolutely.

Contributor

about 2 years ago

Short hike with good Whitney Views

Super short hike (1/4 mile maybe) to a small arch (surprising small) that you can look through and see the sun setting over Mt Whitney, the tallest peak in the lower 48. Usually not alone here and framing can be challenging but fun

Contributor

about 2 years ago

This is a hard trek despite how popular it is

And what makes it hard isn't just the walking. In fact, if I had a slightly lighter backpack as I should have, that wouldn't have been so bad. Its the other things, like no internet (yes be one with nature but the maps online are SO MUCH BETTER than paper ones!). Or the 8 hour bus ride to the trail start. Or what about the leeches (in rainy season, don't recommend unless you want the trail to yourself and unique views hardly anyone else gets). And how about those jeep rides on the edge of muddy cliffs, rock slides, over water falls, through rivers. Good times and happy to be alive. But worth it for sure. If I had to do it over again here's my advice. Pack as light as you possibly can without risking freezing. Go right before or right after busy season so the weather is still decent but there aren't so many people (but still some people...it would have been more enjoyable with more trekkers). Prepare to do the entire circuit. The short cuts (ie extra bus rides, flights, jeep rides) just aren't worth the extra risk they place your life in. Enjoy! Respect the culture and the locals. Keep the landscape clean!

Contributor

about 2 years ago

Well worth it if you are doing the Annapurna Circuit

Most people spend a few days to get used to the altitude in Manang on the Annapurna Circuit. If you do, and I highly recommend it, follow the signs and do the grueling and rewarding climb to Ice Lake. This sacred beauty is well worth the effort and gets you over 15000 feet which makes sleeping much easier when you come down!