Friday, October 5, 2012

Alpine Lake Hiking Near Wells, NV

We've relocated South about 115 miles to Wells, NV for a couple of nights. And those nights are cold, getting into the 20's! We've been warm and cozy in our home on wheels though. We made sure to unhook from the campground water supply to avoiding freezing.

Wells, NV is a tiny town, but they have a nice interpretive center for the California Trail and, key for us, the town sits next to towering mountains of the Humbolt Toiyabe National Forest along the Angel Lake Scenic Byway. (Note: you can click on any pic to enlarge it.)

Angel Lake Scenic Byway starts at 5600 ft and ends at 8500 ft;
from the high desert up into those high peaks.
The aspen are spectacular when you get close to them!

Friday we drove 12 miles up, up, up to Angel Lake Campground to hike to Smith Lake. The campground sits at 8500 feet and had already closed for the winter, but the day use area was open. Hunting season had started so we made sure to wear bright colors and stay on the trail.

After climbing 1,025 feet, some parts were quite steep along precipitous drops, we reached Smith Lake. This alpine lake is surrounded by massive peaks and giant granite boulders, but is small enough at 4 acres that one could easily walk the perimeter and into the small valley beyond it.

We spent some time relaxing in the sun and soaking in the peace and quiet and beauty around us; and searching the mountains for the elusive mountain goats that are said to inhabit them. I think they were all scared into hiding due to deer hunting season!

Smith Lake
The small valley beyond the lake
Smith Lake from the mountain-side.
From about 9,000 ft, looking into the valley from whence we came...
Wells, NV is a small patch of green near the top, center of the pic.

This was a great stop over to break up the drive from Twin Falls to Salt Lake City, where we are headed next. Stay tuned...

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