Don’t do this hike. The images might convince you otherwise, and my descriptions might convince you otherwise, but this hike is difficult and should be taken only if you either have 1) Massive thighs, 2) Time for breaks or plan to stay the night, or 3) A weird drive to see remote lakes even if you lack 1 and 2 (I was all about 3 on this trip).
- Trailhead: “Twenty Mile Lakes” 17 miles north on Warren Wagon Road.
- Distance: 6 miles to the four lakes.
The trail includes two major ascents that I never want to do again. The first half of the trail is shady, but be warned that it is heavily bushed, meaning– wear pants. I had my legs cut up by branches and weeds. The second half goes through extensive burn, which is always interesting, more so when you hear your skin sizzle from the sun. At one point I thought I was this tree on the right.
I personally love a good burned forest because of the views. Being able to see right through the landscape to the peaks and meadows thrills me. I’ll admit, in the heavy bush where I can’t see around the multiple corners, I get a little paranoid of stumbling on cougars, bears, and other other animals that would either attack or trample me.
There are also wonderful contrasts in a burned forest. The black of the tree on the right with the green grass. And below, the purple flowers against the the charred logs. Wildflowers are always easier to spot where there is more light for them to flourish.
The first lake that you’ll see is North Lake. There is also South, East, and West Lake, aptly named by their directions. After North Lake visit South Lake. From there the path East Lake (right) or West Lake (Lake) is easy to find. Each lake is surprisingly different, and my favorite was South Lake. Camping spots at each lake made me wish I’d brought my hammock.