Hike to Big Heart Lake

Details

Distance

14.6 miles

Elevation Gain

3300 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Bryan Carroll

Big Heart lake is a deep blue lake with encompassing mountains. There are many lakes and large waterfalls leading up to the grand finale. The trek to the lake is serene and very quiet, with little foot traffic.

This hike takes you past 5 lakes and a few different waterfalls, so if you don't wish to push on to Big Heart, you won't be disappointed! Start at the West Fork Foss River Trailhead, about 2.6 miles past the Necklace Valley Trailhead. The first mile is relatively flat. Once you reach the bridge that crosses the West Fork of the Foss River, the trail starts to climb in elevation. Another 0.7 miles and you will be at Trout Lake.

Continuing on past Trout Lake, you will climb 1900' in elevation in under 2 miles. There are some waterfalls along the way to enjoy and photograph. Be cautious on a hot sunny day as there is very little shade. You will come to a split in the trail: If you go right, you will find yourself at Lake Malachite. Take the left path as that will lead you to Copper Lake. This is a beautiful lake and a great place to stop if you are looking for a day hike. In the early summer, the bugs could be an issue.

Continue on around Copper Lake and follow the trail on a gentle slope to Little Heart Lake, only about 1.3 miles. The slopes of this lake are really rocky and not the easiest to access, so push on to Big Heart Lake.

In 1.1 miles and 700' elevation, you will arrive at a high point on the trail. From here, you travel down 300' and 0.7 miles to arrive at Big Heart Lake. There are a couple campsites close to the water right as you reach the lake, otherwise the trail starts to climb in elevation due to the cliffs surrounding the lake. You can enjoy a peaceful evening next to the lake, or start to make the 7.3 mile trek back to the trailhead.

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Know for

Fishing
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Lake
Scenic
Waterfall
Wildflowers

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