Saturday, September 07, 2013
Yesterday a bunch of us headed up to the Gold Lakes Basin in Plumas County (a longish drive; 2.5 miles from my house) to find a 'new' Hidden Lake and climb Mt Elwell, about an 8 mile hike with a 2000 ft elevation gain. We were very fortunate since the air was clear of smoke and the weather was great.
We started out on a beautiful trail going towards Smith Lake through the forest, and then turned up on the trail to Mt Elwell.
After a while (and 1000' up) we came to a couple ponds which was the point to head south about 1/4 mile to Hidden Lake - which we found with no problem! You could sure tell it was the end of the season, since the lake had dried up so much.
We had a light 'first lunch' there, and then went back to the trail and headed up to Elwell Peak.
The views from the top were awesome, with many lakes below and a great view of the Sierra Buttes.
The rest of the trip was mostly downhill, going down to Long Lake, and then along a creek with several waterfalls - unfortunately we only saw one (apparently you can see the signs for the spur trails easier coming from the other direction) but it was nice to see. Will have to go back and explore the waterfalls more some time.