I came back
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Distance: 14.00 Miles
Duration: 20 hours
So I decided to come back and do an overnight trip. I wanted to be able to get to at least Eagle Roost. ....Which I did in a round about sort of way.
There is some good information about the trail on this site:
(and also a better map)
Last time I went I was able to reach the "5-mile" camp and turned around. This time I wanted to reach at least Eagle Roost before setting up camp. Since I was carrying 40 pounds on my back (I brought to much water and food) I got tired but was smart enough to take a few breaks here and there.
At around lunch time, I found myself just past "5-mile" camp and was certain Eagle Roost was just around the corner, so I decided to stop at this sudo-campsite directly on the lake. While I was eating my lunch I couldn't help but realize what beauty was around me. So I decided to pitch my tent. Long story short, I took a nap after lunch, then hiked about one more mile to Eagle Roost and back to my camp before the sun set.
Night time was intense. I got plenty of sleep, but I heard a loud symphony of coyotes, and many other animals in the area were making lots of noise. I think it got down to 34 degrees that night. It was chilly, but I was warm!
I'm giving this a 4.5 rating because I actually did see 3 people over the 2 days I was on the trail. The first day I saw a couple with their dog doing some day hiking. The second day I say a trail runner (I gotta give that guy props).
Oh one last thing. I noticed a few different mile markers on the trail this time. I personally do not believe them. They say one thing, but my iPhone says a different thing. Like, perhaps "5-mile" camp is really 6-mile camp? ...at least from Juniper Point West?
Anyways, I'd still like to do this entire trail one day, so hopefully you will all see me on here again.
Beautiful hike along the lake.
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Distance: 10.00 Miles
Duration: 6 hours
I found this hike to be more than I thought it was. Not only was terrain harder, but there were less people than I had expected.
I took off from Juniper Point West. It appears most people do this(you can't beat the free parking!). I parked at the bathrooms and started heading towards the trail. The day-use area was roped off, but it looked very inviting. It was right along the lake and looked perfect for a large group's picnic.
I finally got onto the trail and knew my goal was getting to the "5-mile" campsite. I quickly realized that the first mile or so of the trail was along a cliff. I am rather scared of heights, but this cliff didn't seem to bother me. (I am hoping this means I am getting over my fear of heights!)
Once the trail flattened out, there were plenty of spots for people to setup campsites, if they didn't want to hike it all the way to the "5-mile" campsite.
As I passed the beautiful scenery, I learned that the trail was much more up-and-down than I originally planned for. There is quite a bit of rocks and tree roots that form into stairs. So in other words, this isn't a simple walk in the park, yet the trail was easily identifiable, but certainly not anything crazy.
Even though there were plenty of times I thought I was in the middle of nowhere, there is no denying that you're not. Not only were there plenty of people on the trail, there are always people on the lake. I can easily imagine the lake being a lot fuller around the three day weekends.
Reminders for people on the trail:
1) No running water along the trail. Either bring water, plan on filling up at some of the commercial campsites, or bring a filter.
2) Stay towards the lake on the trail at all times. I found myself in someone's backyard with their dogs because I took a wring turn. I think it was the only wrong turn you could possibly take.
3) I took along my iPhone so I could keep track of how far/fast I was traveling. This was one of my better decisions.
I hiked to the "5-mile" campsite and back. Now I want to do the entire trail. I could probably do it in 2 days, but I'd like to go slower and stretch it out over 3 days. I feel like I went to fast to enjoy all the nature that this trail brings.
Watch those lake levels!
[View Log Page]
Distance: 9.00 Miles
My 8 year old son and I did the trail from Juniper Point to the Lost Loop and back over the weekend. The lake is 10' over normal and *much* of the trail is under water. Between trail head and the loop we had to abandon the trail 16 times to go bushwhacking off through the woods. Sometimes we had to go _very_ far inland an once ended up walking through a neighborhood before trying to blindly head back down through the trees to find the trail. Once we got to the loop there were 7 more times around it that we had to abandon the trail.
The bushwhacking made this hike much harder than it would have been otherwise. My son took it on like a champ though!
Regarding the lack of solitude - it was Memorial Day weekend. You could hear music and shouting off the boats the entire way around Lost Loop. Other weekends might be a little more quiet.
All in all, we had a blast! However, the bushwhacking was so abusive and time consuming. We hiked at a moderate pace with a 30 minute pause at the marina coming back out from the loop, and it took us almost 5 hours to cover 4+ miles!
Here are the pictures from our trip.