7/2/2011 – Fish Lake – 717 and Round Lake – 535

Date of Hike: 7/2/2011
Location of Hike: Fish Lake and Round Lake Trails
Trail Number: 717 and 535
Weather during Hike: Sunny
Hiking Buddies: Bodie (my dog)
Start Time: 9:00 AM
End Time: 5:00 PM
Hike Distance: 7 miles
Pictures: Link
Description of Hike:
I have not been out hiking in almost 2 months due to end of school year events, so this was a welcome escape. Since I wasn’t sure of the snow levels (this has been a weird year for snow), I decided to try a couple of relatively safe (lower) trails, and to add on a short hike that I’ve been wanting to do for a while now (Round Lake.. Part 1 of the hike – was the Fish Lake trail. This was a trail I’ve done a few times from the west end, but never went beyond the lake. That is too bad, because one of the best spots on the trail is actually past the lake – after you pass the lake and make the climb up the hill, there is a GREAT viewpoint of the lake. There were a couple of families camped at the lake, but both were on the NE side of the lake, so I didn’t pass through any occupied campsites which was kind of nice.

I saw no snow until about 4200′, on the way up the hill, and then just in a few spots. Once up on top, there was no snow until almost to the Lower Lake campground, and then there was a couple hundred feet of 2-3′ drifts across the trail.


One thing about the access to the trailhead – there is a washout on the 4691-120 road at Squirrel Creek that low clearance vehicles can’t get past. Trucks or higher clearance vehicles can get through no problem with a little caution.

I also explored the NE side of the lake, trying to see where people had been driving to the lake from the power line road. There is a rough “road” from the power line access road that people are still using, even though there are signs that motorized vehicles shouldn’t go any farther. There are large “tank traps” on the NW side of the lake which seems to have stopped them on that side, but there is only one trap on the NE side and it isn’t too hard to get over, which is why they probably choose that side.

Part 2 of the hike was the Round Lake trail and camping area. This is a very LONG drive, but it is a very pretty lake and some really nice campsites at the lake. The trail goes all the way around the lake, however the back side gets a little brushy. The campsites at the lake were very nice, well dispersed with picnic tables and even outhouses!

Had a little bit of a challenge getting to the trailhead on road 6350 – there were 3 different snowdrifts across the road – one was over a foot deep, but it was pretty soft and I just plowed through it. Won’t be long before it is completely gone.

There were 3 or 4 families camped there, however they were camped along the road, not at the lake. There was no one camped at the lake itself.
A beautiful summer day in the woods!

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