The hike to Bench and Snow Lakes is not a hard hike, but when you add in heat and super bugs, it's not as much fun, but still just as beautiful.
It was a gorgeous sunny day, but a little too hot for my taste. We forgot the bug juice and suffered the consequences. The hike meanders up through the forest to a meadow area filled with snags. The snow was still lingering on some of the adjacent mountains, making it feel more like June, not July. We got to Bench Lake to discover that the shore was very overgrown and there was pretty much no where to stand. Onward we went.
Snow Lake was much prettier than Bench Lake, with that glacier blue color that I just love! The bugs at Snow Lake were just as bad, so we barely dipped our feet in before we left. Well, Mark went fishing for a bowl he saw at the bottom of the lake. Turned out it was a lot father down than he expected!
We decided to seek out a tarn that was mentioned in the guide book, so we followed the trail up into the boulders. Soon, there were no more bugs! I was so relieved. We continued up the hillside before coming to a nice flat rock to take a break. We contemplated going up this steep chute to bag Castle and/or Unicorn, but I was too tired and the snow in the chute was a little too melted to make an easy climb up.
So we settled for hiking back down into the bugs and accidentally got off course when we spotted a male deer just chilling near some rocks. We stood there in silence while watching him lay down in a spot that was obviously his. I took as many photos as I could! He was so beautiful!
We left the guy in peace and headed back to the trail. The bugs immediately swarmed us, so we began running (well, more like serious hobbling) down hill. We came across a few parties that were shocked at our sudden presence. One lady asked if there was a bear or something. Nope, just a lot of bugs!
We definitely learned that we needed to buy some bug spray, which we promptly did the very next day. I counted around 30 mosquito bites, not a record, but it was up there. I'd love to go back to Snow Lake in early fall, when there wont be as many bugs!