Silver Lake to Lake Solitude
The snow has finally melted enough at the high elevations that we can hike up there and not have to worry about ridiculous mud or needing extra traction for our hiking boots. I scheduled a hike up to Lake Solitude with my Hike it Baby chapter, but I was the only hiker that day. It turned out to be just fine with me as it still got me moving and sweating and enjoying the day. It was cloudy and a little overcast, which doesn’t make for very pretty photos. But I can’t find the spare battery and charger that go with my DLSR anyway. It’s kind of driving me nuts right now. Argh!
The hike to Lake Solitude starts at Silver Lake, which is mostly surrounded by a man-made boardwalk. Lake Solitude by itself isn’t really all that pretty in my opinion. I think Silver Lake is prettier, and there are plenty of other alpine lakes that are leaps and bounds more beautiful than these two. But Silver Lake is incredibly easy to get to, and Lake Solitude is only a little further. Matthew and I started our trek with hopes that we’d get to see some wildlife, or at least get some pretty views.
This is Silver Lake. What a difference cloud cover makes, eh? Especially when compared to these photos taken the week before.
For me, the real gem of this hike is the aspen trees that line the trail to Lake Solitude. Last fall I hiked here twice just to see the aspen and skipped the last 0.1 mile steep section to get to the actual lake.
At about the midpoint between the two lakes, the wind really picked up and we started to feel a few sprinkles of rain. The forecast said rain wasn’t expected until much later in the afternoon, but I considered turning around. Rain wasn’t going to bug me, but lightning would have. I’m a native of California. I don’t mess around with lightning.
I jokingly asked Matthew whether he wanted to keep going or turn around, and he said, “Go Mommy!” So we went.
We passed another hiker who told us there was a moose with two babies up at Lake Solitude. That gave me a ton of motivation to get to our destination, regardless of rain. Well, I still would have turned around if I’d heard any thunder.
I picked up my pace as Matthew serenaded me with his renditions of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Adele’s Hello.
I stopped for a rest right before the last stretch to the lake. The last 0.1 miles is quite steep. I chugged up the hill and was greeted with the mediocre lake and a ton of mosquitoes. There were already plenty of mosquitos around Silver Lake, but there were even more up at Lake Solitude. Oh and the moose were gone. Boo!
I considered walking around the lake, but when the bugs got pretty bad, I called it quits and headed back. I didn’t even take any photos of it.
Once we got back to the wide trail around the backside of Silver Lake, I let Matthew out of the carrier so he could walk around and throw rocks into the water. That’s his current favorite thing to do when we go hiking. It’s ALL about finding rocks and tossing them into whatever body of water we can find.
Because I hiked this trail pretty quickly, we both worked up quite a sweat, which often means crotch sweat for Matthew. He walked around like he’d just ridden a horse for a few days as he looked for rocks. It was kind of funny!
I love this hike and I’ve hiked it more than a few times, but the mosquitoes this morning were the worse I’ve ever seen. Both Matthew and I had repellant on and I only sustained one bite (Matthew had none), but when they’re trying to kamikaze their way into your eyes and ears it makes for not-so-fun hiking. I’ll put Lake Solitude on hold until the fall and see if it improves. There’s another lake trail that branches off from Silver Lake called Twin Lakes. I’ll give it a go this summer too and see how it compares to the hike to Lake Solitude.