All of the hikes I’ve done lately have been similar. I start at the bottom, and I go to the peak – very straight forward. Or “up” forward?
When I got a text from my friend about doing an Alpine Lake hike I knew it was time I checked one of these off my list, and man am I glad I did. Lake hikes are a bit different because instead of going from bottom to top, there’s lots of winding and up and down and up and down.
An Alpine Lake is considered any lake or reservoir at a high altitude. Alpine lakes are usually clearer than lakes at lower elevations due to the colder water which decreases the amount of algae and moss growth in the water. Often these lakes are surrounded by varieties of pine trees, aspens, and other high altitude trees.
My first Alpine Lake hike was to Snow Lake, and then I carried on to Gem Lake. Two birds with one stone, because why not? Ten miles total with an ending elevation of 4857 ft.
It was the perfect balance of a climb.
My compadre was a better man than I, and actually
jumped crawled into both lakes. Me? Not so much, I observed just in case a wild animal came. Someone had to take care of the serious stuff.
One thing on this hike that really captured my interest was this.
There are camp spots all throughout these mountains, so someone built totally legit wooden toilets around them. Lucky for me, because my bladder is the size of a peanut.
What can I say, I am easily amused.
Forget a pool, I want an Alpine Lake in my backyard. With cookies, always with cookies.
I’ll be back to uphill climbing this week, but these lakes will soon see my face again.
For more Snow Lake photos click here.
Q: Do you prefer long and gradual hikes, or shorter and steeper climbs? Definitely both, depending on my mood. It’s all about the balance!
46 thoughts on “An Alpine Lake Stole My Heart”
Amy @ A Desert Girl
Oh my goodness these pictures are stunning! I like long and gradual hikes as a regular thing and short and steep to mix it up and feel the burn every so often.
THIS IS BEAUTIFULLLLLL please take me with youuuuuuu on these Alpine Lake hikes!! lakes have suchhhhh a special spot in my heart and i just love these photos. i also have no bladder and think that toilet sign is adorbs.
OH we would be PERFECT hiking partners. Both stopping to pee in the woods every hour or so. This just means we will keep hydrating!
Change of Pace
Alpine lakes are such gorgeous colours! I think you should’ve taken the plunge, too! You could’ve gone to the bathroom in there 🙂
I like both types of hikes, too! I love the straight up climbs where your heart is exploding and the easier ones that are a nice combination. As long as there’s a good view at the end!
ABBY, how I’ve missed your comments. The first thing I think of when peeing in a lake or something other than a chlorinated pool (yes, guilty) is some kind of microbe swimming into my urethra!! Too much information?? HAHA!
Such a gorgeous hike, and such gorgeous pictures! I am going hiking this Saturday and will definitely be looking out for alpine views like this.
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
That might be the most beautiful lake I have ever seen.
I prefer gradual hikes, as I like them to be enjoyable.
Lauren @ ihadabiglunch
Oh my gosh. THAT WATER. It’s breathtaking. You have a fabulous life 🙂 I’m glad you make the most of the beautiful place you live!
Those lakes are beautiful! I definitely need to do an Alpine Lake hike now. And my summer vacation finally officially started so I can now! Yay! And yes, always cookies.
Mine just started today, yahoo for being on vacation (for a month.) HA!
I like both too! Variety is the spice of life!
Rach @ This Italian Family
I tend to prefer long gradual hikes, but sometimes I’m in the mood for something a little steeper. And girl, I have to tell you – I’ve never seen an Alpine lake, but those photos are just gorgeous. I need to find out what the closest mountain to me that has one is! So pretty!
di @ life of di.
SOO beautiful and I love the little toilet sign. Ha. Marty and I have gone hiking 1-2x/week for the past couple of weeks and I really love the time spent together. We do a 2.5 mile roundtrip but want to mix up our normal for next week!
That water is so blue! Wholly moley.
Gosh, I love hiking vicariously through you.
What foreign destination would you want to go hiking at? Foreign meaning non-US I guess.
I NEED to get my ass all over Ireland, and it needs to happen ASAP. Then yes, Switzerland, or anything similar. Anything full of green and GIANT mountains. OMG I am swooning at the thoughts.
What a beautiful adventure. I would probably have to jump in, too.
I love when I find bathrooms in the woods. Peeing outside is cool and all… Until it bites you in the butt. Literally. 🙂
I am down for any kind of hikes, but preferably uphill first then downhill when my legs are trashed.
Life's a Bowl
WOAH! Those pictures are beautiful. Breathtaking scenery!
Matt @ Runner Savvy
Your pictures are great! (and your friend is a cutie!)
Oh I’m jealous. Looks like you and your compadre had fun.
Khushboo Thadani (@KhushbooThadani)
Gorgeous gorgeous photos- love how much you make the most of all the beautiful scenery around you!! I am far from a hiking expert but I think I’d prefer long & gradual hikes (so long as I’m well-equipped with yummy snacks & good company)!
that’s it! i need to come back and go here. Gah… so pretty!
kathy @ vodka and soda
girl, those pictures take my breath away. i legit said OHMYGOD! when i saw that beautiful water. you are SO DAMN LUCKY!!! i wish we had amazing mountains/lakes like that to hike.
Food, Booze, & Baggage
Beautiful, Beautiful pictures…the water looks so fresh and blue! I like they have restrooms…now that is my kind of outdoors 🙂
the fact that this is your life makes me want to move SO DANG BAD. wisco has a lot to offer but nothing compared to colorado or the west coast. if only i could get the man to move immediately when he’s home.
for now, i live vicariously through you and your hiking pictures. 🙂
Gorgeous, gorgeous pictures!
What a gorgeous lake and fun hike!! Great question- between long, gradual hikes or short and steep, I’m leaning toward the former, but i also love the latter. I hate to be unoriginal but i’m copying your answer of “depends on my mood” 🙂
It’s a perfect answer!!
The Vegan 8
Seriously, I just can’t take it!!! You are KILLING ME with all of these photos. They seriously are some of the most gorgeous photos I’ve ever seen….the nature just makes them so perfect and beautiful. The colors, wow. I am so envious of where you live and that water, just wow. I laughed at your comment about the toilet, too, hahahaha!
An Unrefined Vegan
So beautiful! I want to dive in!
You are following the call of nature, both in the wilderness and with the bladder stuff. Ha!!.
This looks beautiful, and I’m glad you’re having a great time.
It looks so pristine and beautiful. I mean, the water….!
Arman @ thebigmansworld
Wow, that looks like a postcard…..all of those pictures. I would totally jump off into the water..Well, after I make someone else jump first to make sure I won’t die. I’m so considerate.
Absolutely breathtaking scenery!!! THAT is what I call a workout AND a fun day! 🙂 I definitely want to do more hiking next year (especially since I’ll be working off baby weight by then). 🙂 It’s just such a great way to escape the fast-paced, every-day life. GREAT pictures!!!
These views are absolutely ridiculous! I’ve been on some pretty beautiful hikes and this outdoes all of them! Jealous.
I wouldn’t ever want to leave, what a gorgeous lake! That water is mesmerizing!!
I love alpine lakes! I’ve always wanted to do a hike to a hanging lake, but that would definitely be a backpacking trip because they’re kind of off the beaten path. Also, now I totally understand your obsession with hiking because I went today and I can’t get enough. It was fun to go on a solo hike for the first time and just let the trail take me wherever. I can’t believe I hated it as a kid!
Oh my goodness, those pictures are gorgeous! I don’t think I’d be brave enough to swim in the lake. It looks really cold. And the toilets…hilarious!
Davida @The Healthy Maven
holy crap that last picture is UNREAL!!!! I need this hike in my life. Can I come visit you? We can hike all of Washington!!!
“I want an Alpine Lake in my backyard. With cookies, always with cookies.” that’s the happiest thing i’ve read in a while – i want to make a print out of it. and these pictures? frame them – so, so gorgeous.
little dash of
Love the pictures! So beautiful!
Stunning photos featuring your hike…what a view! The first lake I went to was Crater Lake and it was extraordinary and serene! Ahh, a legit wooden sign that said toilet? That’s….insane! OMG I want that cookies!! I prefer shorter and steeper climbs since I have an incredibly busy schedule!
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haha that toilet information. at least they were thoughtful!
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