Trail Reviews: Lost Lake via Hessie trail
Distance: 4.1 miles
If you’re looking to get lost, in a good way, then the Hessie trail to Lost lake is one you won’t want to pass up on. The Hessie trail conditions in the winter months are perfectly packed from the many people that snowshoe, ski, and hike upon it each day. The beginning of the trail leads you through an open field of snow and into a sparse forest. You will begin to switchback up the mountainside and before you’ve barely begun the hike, the trees will break, and a sweeping mountain landscape and valley below will be revealed. From this point, the majority of the trail winds through dense forest with snow-flecked trees towering high above. The elevation is fairly gradual and is steeper at certain points than others, but not unbearable. It is helpful to use spikes, but certainly not necessary. The trail narrows and after a short climb through the trees you will come upon Lost lake. In January, when I visited, the ice was hard enough to walk across the lake and take in the expansive views of the surrounding mountains. The trail continues on past the lake for a short while before it ends, and you head back towards the lake.
I would highly recommend this hike for experienced and beginner winter hikers alike. It feels more like a stroll than a strenuous hike if anything. There are multiple bridges you cross, with one even being suspended above a bubbling stream that runs beneath pillows of snow. Dogs are also allowed on the trail and I encountered many pups rolling and chasing one another through the snow, carefree and happy as could be. Take your furry friend along for the adventure and of course, your favorite trail snack, Wildway granola or snack mix to help fuel the fun.
Disclaimer 1: Be sure to get to the trail early as the road leading to the trailhead fills quickly. I have only been in the wintertime when the road leading directly to the start of the trailhead is closed; therefore, parking is limited to a single street about a ½ mile from the trailhead. Parking conditions may differ in the summertime, but as for winter, they are limited.
Disclaimer 2: There are many people who also snowshoe this trail, but even that is not necessary. If you wish to continue onto Devil’s Thumb trail, then snowshoes are recommended as the trail is an additional 4-6 miles (depending on how far you wish to go) and is not as packed down.
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