Tag swan valley



Jul 2014

Crater Lake

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Today we set off on a bit of a longer endeavor than last time… a 12 mile trek to Crater Lake. This hike begins at the main Jewel Basin Trail head which is pretty heavily trafficked and then technically goes out of the Jewel. 


We got started on an old road so it was very wide open, there were patches of snow here and there.

About a mile in you’ll come up to where the trail splits of too several trails. You can head to Mount Aeneas, Picnic Lakes, or just about anywhere in the Jewel Basin for that matter.

This trip was so beautiful that the only way to truly express the trip is visually using photos, so there’s gonna be many of them an fewer words.

Just a few miles in you hit a high point where you can gaze into the valley and look down on Martha Lake.


You can easily see straight to the bottom of the lake, it also has a waterfall going in to it but I wasn’t able to capture that splendor using my phone… guess you’ll have to go see for yourself! 

More patchy snow along the trail… Ron loved snacking on it!

About 3 Miles in now and behold Birch Lake! It’s a very large lake and the trail to Crater follows right along the whole shore of it.

Watch out though, use insect repellent on you AND your pet. There are black flies in this area, their bite is very irritating and they can hang on to your pets belly for some time if you don’t catch it. Those of you who are also equestrians are likely very familiar with the little buggers.


With the summer being very mellow up to this point in the year, there was still plenty of snow on the way there! It required a lot of exhausting side hilling in the snow and to be perfectly honest, it got pretty old after the 3rd or 4th mile of it!

We did end up losing the trail at a couple of points due to all the snow, it was nearly impossible to tell where it was. We climbed some rocks and looked out over beautiful views though!

We found a spot for lunch!

Trail food… it always tastes so good because after all the work you’re starving!

Overall the trail isn’t very difficult, there’s no really significant elevation change and I’m sure that without the snow it would have been pretty mellow… If you do happen to go at a time when there is snow make sure to have ice cleats and trekking poles at the very least or I really wouldn’t recommend it. It was not easy!

There were several points after Birch that we were able to see the trail, most of it was washed out from all the snow melt.

There was a waterfall by Squaw Lake coming right across the trail. Refreshing as well as visually pleasing! Climbing up to it was a definite highlight, so neat up close even as small as it is.

 Squaw Lake

Did I mention all the snow?!

We’re about 5 miles in now, a storm hit and the rain was coming down so we took shelter in some trees to let it pass… Ron was looking a little tired at this point so we decided it was time for him to take a little  ride!

Not sure what this look is? Tired, disgruntled, why are you pointing that at me again?


 And off we go!

There’s a short descend to the lake on a pretty small trail with all kinds of rocks and brush.

To see the full album from this trip click here.


The lake was even better than I’d imagined! There was almost no snow in the area surrounding it.

Trail conquered!

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Until next time, Happy Trails!

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