Crystal Lake

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An afternoon hike in McCall.

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Julie and I hadn't been out for a hike together for some time. She's been hiking the forest for work, and I've been just plain busy. So needing to cleanse my soul after a week in Lost Wages, we were on our feet at about 3PM. Perfect timing to get the lake to ourselves as the other folks were all headed down.

Trail start

Julie had not been to Crystal and found my description of this as an 'easy' hike a little deceiving. It is a 1900' gain to the lake.

Snow @ 7000'

Mostly, you follow the Fall Creek trail. But then you leave that trail and begin what was a bushwhack, but is now a pretty obvious fisherman's trail- except on the steep hillside to gain the saddle. There, it's your choice of a braided, faint track. Again, some disillusionment for Julie.

I like this shot because it shows the results of the 1994 Blackwell fire, but also a bit of what it looked like before the burn.

Dad

Gaining the saddle opens up the vistas, then the trail down the back side is rocky.

 

 

 

Although you have to lose some altitude, then gain it back, it's only a short way to the lake from there. If you look closely at the photo below, you'll see Julie on the far right.

Descnding
Crystal Lake panorama

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