Monday, June 10, 2013

Red Lake Hike

Elisa and I went on an afternoon hike last week. I went online and quickly found a hike that was short enough to complete so that I could get home in time to cook dinner and we were off. The hike I picked was the Red Lake Trail. To get there, you enter Nebo Loop from 600 East in Payson in Utah County. Go in Nebo Loop about 6.5 miles, pass Maple Dell, keep going and look for the sign (in the pic below) on the right, then turn right at the next road.
Go up the road and pass the campground by choosing the road to the right in the photo below.
The one website I looked at before leaving didn't mention that there was a day use fee of $7. Luckily, I had money with me. Stop when you see this and fill out the form, putting the money in the envelope and hanging the hang tag in your car, or you could get a $175 fine.
Just past this, the road splits again. This time choose the left road that has the post for 183 seen below. I'm giving step-by-step directions because so many times I've looked online for directions and then haven't been able to find the trail, so hopefully this helps someone.
Go forward a short distance and there are parking spaces near restrooms and the road ends. There is a trail to the left of the restrooms and another to the right. There is the trailhead marker below at the path on the left, and the website said to go the left of the restrooms, so we went there.
Well, as soon as we walked just a few steps onto this trail, it split again and we weren't sure which way to go.
Since the path going straight looked more used, we chose that one, but weren't sure it was the right one to get to Red Lake. I liked the parts of the trail that were covered by trees. Cool and green. Some of the path is a little narrow and on the edge, so it scared Elisa, especially the parts that went downhill. She went very, very slowly on those parts. They aren't bad really because there are lots of trees that would stop a fall or roll down. The trail has some downhill parts, but most of it is uphill. Not too steep or strenuous.
The trail is 1.75 miles to the lake from the trailhead, but it felt longer to us and we weren't sure if we were ever going to see a lake or if we chose the wrong path at the beginning. The trail goes down to this stream that you cross across this flat log so you don't even get your feet wet.
 
 
 
There is this clearing with several tree stumps. Then we came upon this rusty, crumpled up part of a pickup truck off to the side of the trail. If you see that, you know you're on your way and not too much longer. I forgot to time how long it took us though.
Finally, we saw water. Really, it looks more like a swamp than a lake to me, but we were glad we made it. I'm not sure why it's called Red Lake.
 
 
After walking around the lake for a while and snapping some pics, we headed back. When we were close to the end of the trail, we saw little glimpses of water off to the left. I noticed it on the way up, but thought the trail would loop around to it and it didn't. So we followed a little trail down to see what was hiding there. We found Maple Lake, a clear, pretty, but smallish lake. If you want to go straight to Maple Lake, take the very short trail on the right side of the restrooms. There are several picnic tables and benches around that lake.
 
 
 
 
Whether you want to enjoy an easy picnic at Maple Lake or a bit of a hike to sit Red Lake, it's worth a visit. 

1 comment:

  1. We walked around Maple Lake this past fall. It was so pretty! glad you got a hike in with your girl!

    ReplyDelete

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