An easy approach to a beautiful subalpine area, which reminded me of a bigger version of Brandywine Meadows. The funny thing is that the lakes are pretty but by no means outstanding. Somehow we even missed one of the main lakes as it was behind a knoll! Ah well, next time. No matter - the surrounding mountains make a fine backdrop.
We scrambled up Locomotive Mtn, but there is also some mellower terrain in the vicinity of peak 6010 on the map for gentle exploration.
Mosquitoes were moderately annoying so bug spray is a good idea. They were even worse when we got back to the car and I doubled the number of bites in the ten minutes it took us to drop our packs and change out of our boots. Every mozzie we swatted in the car left a crimson smear...
The trail is mostly in fair shape but it could do with some maintenance to ensure its longevity. There a few blowdowns to get around/over and a handful of boot-sucking mudpits to deal with. The problem is that the solution in both cases has been to simply hike around the obstacles, creating more mud and trampling more meadows. A few stretches of boardwalk or even relocated fallen timber would be welcome.
The Hurley FSR is in decent shape and was re-graded while we were camping, which made the descent much more pleasant.
Camping options are numerous, but finding a level, smooth spot is not as easy as it first looks. Small tents and bivi bags will find it easier. Note that this is wilderness camping - there are no facilities. Please bury anything you have to leave behind :-/ Please?
I feel like a broken record here, but seriously - camp fires in the subalpine? We watched as one of our fellow campers set a huge fire (continue reading »within a few metres of their tent...!). How they didn't destroy their home for the night I do not know. Get a frigging brain, morans. « less