Yet another place that's been on our ever-lengthening "to visit" list. A remarkably short and easy hike in to a wonderful wilderness destination. Despite its reputation for being windy, we had the calmest, quietest camping experience we've ever had. Not a breath of wind, the lakes and tarns were like mirrors. And so, so quiet (apart from whistling marmots and squeaky pikas). It was bliss. We saw only 5 people and 3 dogs on the trail all weekend, all of whom were day visitors.
The flowers were almost all gone so the meadows were golden brown. I suspect they would have been a riot of colour a month earlier. No sign of any bears though this is grizzly territory.
Good camping spots near the lakes are actually few and far between. The meadows near the lakes are wet and boggy and don't make good camp sites. More camping options can be found higher up at the lake below Linus and the Faulty Tower, or at the tarn mentioned in the Scrambles book. I imagine that bugs are fierce here in the summer.
Please tread lightly here - this area is fragile. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw dirt-bike tracks through the meadows. (And of course insert usual grumble about camp fires.)
The section of the Downton Creek FSR near km 5 which was washing out has been fully repaired. Yay! This road is easy 2wd low-clearance. Branch 2 is also 2wd, and has a number of water bars which a skillful driver *might* be able to negotiate in a low clearance vehicle, but be prepared to scrape various parts of the underside and/or bumpers. They pose no issues for any higher clearance vehicle (such as our '99 CR-V). It took us nearly 5 hours to reach the trailhead thanks to a couple of accidents in Vancouver (at 7.30 in the morning??) and some slow Alberta drivers on the twisty Duffey Lake road.