The moderately difficult hike goes past beautiful Pine Creek Falls at the first mile. This is far enough for most casual hikers since the trail then steepens to gain over 3,000 feet elevation in the last four miles. Of course, the wildflowers, cascading stream, and open scenery is so amazing, one might just forget about the difficulty of the hike.
The lake is a popular youth-camp destination, but overnighting on a weekday meant we basically had the lake’s one good camp spot and all of the its surrounding beauty to ourselves. The most obvious photo op is at the outlet falls just below the lake, where I made a few successful compositions at sundown and early the next morning.