Yesterday we got snowed on, and rained on, and the sun was shining bright and hot, all of it during the 8.8 mile long Lost Man Loop hike.
The views of Lost Man lake on the left and Independence lake on the right from the top of Lost Man pass at 12,810 ft.
We decided to start the hike from the Independence Lake trailhead (this way we lost more elevation than we gained), while leaving one of the cars at the Lost Man Campground to get ourselves back up to the trailhead after the hike (the hike is not a full loop, it starts at Independence Lake and ends 4 miles down the pass at Lost Man campground, or other way round).
It looked like it was going to be a beautiful sunny day, and Sara, Cori and I were ready for an adventure. I’ve read that this is a very popular hike, but even though it was a Saturday, we didn’t encounter more than a dozen people during the whole loop.
The trail starts with a beautiful scenery surrounding the entire area, and about two miles in we reached our first point of interest, Independence lake. Mostly frozen and surrounded by snow, the lake offered magnificent photo opportunities and we sure took advantage of them.
Now already occasionally postholing through snow, we started climbing up Lost Man pass. At 12,800ft of elevation, the pass offers gorgeous views of both Independence and Lost Man lake, and the surrounding peaks.
As we found a spot to take a lunch break and admire the wildflowers and marmots running around us, the weather quickly rolled in and it started snowing! Nothing more beautiful than seeing it snow on 11th of July 🙂
Trying to get back on the trail and away from the storm quickly proved impossible with the amount of snow covering the ground and reminded us that this is called the Lost Man trail. We jumped the creeks, fell through knee deep snow, followed the marmots, checked our topographic map and finally in the distance saw our trail, creeks and snowfields away. So yes, I will admit, we did get lost on the Lost Man trail.
The Mars-like scenery quickly turned into muddy grassland, that eventually led into a pine forest, and miles down the road ended at the Lost Man Reservoir. Somewhere along the way we got rained on, Cori almost got bit by a dog and we ended up back on the highway before the actual Lost Man campground. Not sure how we did it, but we didn’t try to backtrack it and find the trail, since we knew the parking was just a couple hounded yards down the road.
Lost Man Reservoir
Amazing day and beautiful views and if you’re planning to do this hike, be prepared for your shoes to get wet!