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Trip Report    

CHS 2 Hike - Surprise Mountain

Beautiful hike up to Surprise Lake with CHS hikers on a sunny Sunday. Trail was snow free to the lake.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Our party of three arrived at the TH at 8am and, despite the many cars parked on the side of the road, we scored a prime parking spot. The trail was cool and shady for the most part, with an easy grade. Surprise Creek is a constant companion and keeps the hike interesting with it's many viewpoints. There were quite a few backpackers returning to the TH but not many folks headed up. One of our party had some knee pain from a strenuous hike the previous day. We made it to Surprise Lake but decided to cut our hike short so our hiker could successfully descend with an irritated knee. The trail was entirely snow free to Surprise Lake, in stark contrast the 4th of July when route finding was needed to locate the lake shore trail. We enjoyed a relaxing lunch at the day use area at Surprise Lake. The temperature was perfect, the lake gorgeous and clear,  and we only had to swat mosquitoes about half the time.  After the leader unsuccessfully searched for the elusive backcountry toilet, we began our descent. We encountered many beautiful and varied butterflies enjoying the wildflowers along the way, as well as some annoying black flies who greeted us when we paused.  Needless to say, we took few breaks. The trail could use some brushing in spots but otherwise is in very good condition. Surprise Mountain awaits us another day.