2.8 Miles from trailhead to lake Watershed Area - No Pets, No Swimming
Lake Blanche is a trail we have wanted to do for a long time, many of us have been up this trail a couple times before, just never recorded it. Choosing the right time to visit Lake Blanche is key to your experience. We chose to arrive in the morning; but, wound up actually arriving at noon. The mid-day sun in July allows little shaded rest on this trail, we all nearly ran through about 3 liters of water throughout the whole trip. However, the sun made the mountain flowers here just radiant. We encountered a couple backpacking groups, trail runners, and plenty of other hikers on the way up to the lake. There are three or four good spots to take a couple minutes to rest and look at the view of the valley you just hiked up before you get to the top. We hardly found any trash worth mentioning on this hike, it was a great experience.
2 Miles end to end Pets required to be on leashes on even calendar days
Elbow Fork is a trail we did on accident. We were somehow convinced that Elbow Fork was Bowman Fork. You can see the Bowman Fork Trail from many of the ridges along Elbow Fork. Ultimately this trail, while similar in difficulty, will not take you anywhere near the same destination as Bowman Fork. Despite all that though, Elbow Fork was a fairly decent trail to hike. It was challenging, as it is quite steep in some places; and, had some great places to rest and look around in the shade. We met a few other hikers and runners on this trail, even late on a week day. So this seems to be a well frequented destination. We found about 3 pounds of all kinds of trash including wrappers, bottles, chew cans, caps, cigarette butts, etc.
Willow Heights was a trip we took during one of the hottest days of June this year. We wanted to head up away from the hot air of the valley. After making a quick stop at Hidden Falls we found ourselves bounding up this well marked trail. The dense Aspen forest kept us well shaded, and within half an hour we had already made it to the mountain meadow just before the lake. The view here is incredible, the skyline is littered with mountain peaks to the south and forest everywhere else. At the lake, we watched a single duck dive and resurface multiples, heard birds chirping, and found plenty of animal tracks in the mud. We found minimal trash, mostly plastic wrappers.
1-2 minutes from Trailhead to Hidden Falls 1 Mile from Trailhead to Willow Lake Watershed Area,Dogs not Permitted
Hidden Falls was a great place to stop on our way to Willow Heights. The waterfall made the air in the small ravine quite cool compared to the hot air of the valley. We stopped here to look around and cool off; and, it was well worth it. This short walk up the stream is quite a popular destination, even mid-day we encountered several people from different groups relaxing near the falls. We found several plastic water bottles, broken glass, and plastic wrappers scattered across this destination.