05/19/2020 at 8:19 am #4066MikeHParticipant
Took Max up to Fish Creek Saddle on Friday with a permit to stay 2 nights.
As usual, I’ll provide some cliff’s notes first and then my ramblings next. 🙂 Might even throw in a few pictures… although my phone and camera batteries died and I forgot to bring my battery bank.
Road to trailhead is a moderately rough dirt road. Suggest high clearance vehicle.
No snow on trail. Some downed trees to avoid.
No water at camp so plan ahead. 1 mile walk down to Lodgepole Springs is an option for water currently.
Trail after Fish Creek Saddle seemed mostly snow covered.
Temps were about 60 during the day and high 30’s at night.
Got to Fish Creek Trailhead on Friday about 1:00pm. Road is in good/ rough condition. Our Crosstrek made it easily.
Spoke with a ranger (Michael.. didn’t catch the last name) for a bit, thanked him for his information and service and then we headed off.
Trail is dry and clear all the way to FC Saddle. There are a quite a few downed trees across the trail (how do they know to fall across the trail?).
Some were easy to get around, others were relatively sketchy. I slipped a few times on the loose soil going either above or below. Tread carefully and you’ll be fine.
Water sources were similar to last time with plenty of water running at the last creek crossing shortly after Fish Creek Camp. I filled up there and packed in 6 liters of water.
NOTE: that is the last water source unless you want to hike down to Lodgepole Springs from FC Saddle (notes below). There is no water at Fish Creek Saddle- although we could have melted snow this weekend.
We arrived at FC Saddle about about 5:00pm. Hiking with all that weight is rough.. especially when you’re not in the best shape. 🙂 Campsite was completely dry. There were a few large patches of snow around camp
I’ve really only found a couple campsites at FC Saddle. Maybe there are others hiding under the snow. Luckily, we were the only ones there and were able to get the one we had last time. It’s a great spot.
From FC Saddle, the trail toward Mineshaft Saddle looked completely snow covered.
Since the trail toward Mineshaft/ San G didn’t look fun to me, I decided to only stay one night. I set up camp, Max and I ate some dinner and we went to bed.
The next morning, after breakfast, we walked down toward Dry Lake. It’s a faint trail in places, but was fairly easy to follow. There were cairns here and there and, even though we lost the trail a couple of times, we found it quickly. Basically you head down the valley with a little emphasis on staying to the right side. The walk down is nice. The walk back up is….. not as nice. 🙂
There is water in a stream about .25 miles down from FC Saddle. I wouldn’t plan on it as the weather warms, but it was there this day and would save you from walking down to Lodgepole/ Dry Lake.
PLENTY water coming out of Lodgepole Spring and all around. there.
We got back to camp, ate some snacks, packed up and left. Saw about 10 people coming up as we were going down. Saw a TON of people parked around Thurman Flats and everywhere else along the 38. Crazy…. Glad we were leaving.
Here’s some pics:
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