Trip Report    

CHS 1 Hike - Rachel, Rampart & Lila Lakes

Six tenacious women enjoyed a beautiful day tackling the Rachel Lake's "mile from hell."

  • Road rough but passable
  • The road to Rachel Lake is heavily potholed.

    The water levels on the route were indicative of early season hiking, with significant portions of the upper part of the route being under stream. There were several downed logs, but all are easily passable either by climbing over/under or by walking around.  There was a small patch of snow right at the top of the trail just before hitting the lake, but was navigable without traction - and to be honest, if necessary, could have easily been skirted altogether.

This trip was led and completed as a CHS1 hike. No one but the leader had hiked Rachel Lake before, so we discussed the route and its unique characteristics both at the meeting point and again at the trailhead. The group was enthusiastic about the hike and ready for the challenge.

We started our trip at 10:15 AM in the cool, dry morning. We took an easy pace through the first 2.5 miles, enjoying the different features (meadows, stream, falls). There were several downed logs and water crossings, but there were no problems at any of the obstacles.

After a mid-morning energy stop, we started our climb around 11:45. We took the climb nice and easy (2.25 hrs). Much of the route was underwater, and hikers shared it with the rushing stream. There were a few points where stopping to figure out the track was necessary.  The waterfalls at the halfway point was a brief but welcome stop. The flow was healthy, and it was beautiful!

We reached the lake around 2 PM and enjoyed gorgeous views for lunch.

We took a nice and easy pace down "the mile from hell" as we did up, (1.5 hrs), walked the rest of the route at a moderate clip, and ended up back at the cars around 5:20 PM. This trip - with its characteristics and current conditions - was not for the tenuous, but we had no tenuous hikers on this trip. Only the tenacious!

There were a few dozen people also on the trail, including several backpackers going up to Rachel or beyond.