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Our daughter was in town last week, and she told us that she'd like to take a hike or two with us. She didn't have to ask twice. We'd always wanted to explore the lakes just to the south of Sonora Pass, and we though this would be the perfect occasion to that. Estelle is a top-notch hiker (at least she is in better condition than we are!) and so we knew we'd get a work out.
(If you're interested, the trail leaves from a small parking area just past the tiny waterfall on the right-hand side of the road after the first set of switchbacks in the upper canyon right about 8500 feet or so. )
We took a less used route that starts just below the waterfall, and it was a bit steeper at first. But both routes get you above the waterfall and into the lovely canyon. From there a clear use trail leads up past delightful cascades, gorgeous views of the peaks surrounding Sonora Pass, and eventually up, up, and up to Blue Canyon Lake.
The lake itself is set into a steep bowl, with towering peaks around it, and when we were there in mid-August, plenty of flowers as well. And there were a few trout rising, even at midday. But the weather wasn't looking great at this point. The clouds were building, and we heard thunder and felt a few raindrops while we ate our lunch. And so rather than staying another hour and fishing the lake, we packed up and clambered back down the trail.
We got sprinkled from time to time, but made it to the car without a real soaking. And we had a wonderful hike to a really spectacular spot. This is one we'll do again, since it is near our cabin.
Sorry about the lack of photos--but since Google killed Picasa, we no longer have a way to share our photos. If Google can get its act together, you can see a few shots that we've put on the trip report we posted on our website here--but right now that service isn't working either!