Date: Aug 29, 2009
Distance done: 14.0Km
Elevation done: 1160m
What a fantastic destination. It's been a few years since I was last up here and it's even more beautiful than I remember. Sure the trail is steep in places, but it more than makes up for that with some more gentle sections and it passes through some gorgeous forest, complete with berry bushes. Fortunately for us, the huckleberries were ripe :-D Besides, if you don't like steep hikes then just don't do this one - don't ruin it for your fellow hikers by moaning about how steep it is.
The trail is badly eroded in several places, especially in the lower third where a lot of the switchbacks have been cut by lazy hikers. Also the final ascent to the lake is steep and eroded. I'm guessing it would be fine with a day pack, but with an overnight pack it made for quite a tricky descent. Expect to use your hands often. This is a popular area and sadly it shows - please take your garbage home (which is also where your dog should be!) and clean up after yourself in the outhouse.
Camping notes: several pads (in excellent condition) near the hut, rudimentary food storage (inside the old outhouse...!) and a permanent composting outhouse (which should be used in preference to bushes next to tent pads). No nearby water though. Several more pads down by the lake (about 0.5 km away) which have a temporary outhouse, access to running water but no food storage (that I could see).
Road notes: the access road is mostly fine for regular 2wd, but there is one steep hill which is very badly potholed (by 2wd vehicles losing grip). Given the right line, it's easy to get through (though it's very hard to avoid spinning the wheels at least once because the surface is so loose). Take the wrong line and expect to check for exhaust parts behind you.
Photos on Flickr