We ran this trail after Lily Lake and just a bit of Wurts Ditch. At first, we thought the gate was locked and that we couldn't run the trail. Just then, some vehicles came down and said it was open. They moved the chain and opened the gate, so we did the same. It turns out that the trail is open, after all.
The start of the trail was rocky as we worked our way through the trees. Most of the time there was a gradual incline. We saw a few hikers, and everyone was getting eaten by mosquitoes. It wasn't very warm, so it must have made the hike nice.
It took a bit but we finally came out of the trees. The mountain views were amazing. We ran along a ridge that made part of the Continental Divide. It had lots of snow on it, even in July.
We could hear rushing water so we got out to explore. Just off of the trail was the creek, and it had a lot of water. The scenery was very nice, but there were lots of mosquitoes so we moved on.
We kept getting closer to what looked like the end at Slide Lake. We saw the turnoff for the 10th Mountain Division Hut, but we would explore that on the way down. We kept going, and came to the parking area for the Slide Lake hike.
The picnic table was buried under snow, and we had to cross a bit of snow to get to the parking area. We grabbed jackets and cameras and headed up to the lake.
The hike was gorgeous. We were surrounded by wildflowers and beautiful mountains. We even got to hop over rocks to cross the stream.
When we got to Slide Lake, everyone went off exploring. We were up there awhile, just taking it all in. The water was clear and you could see all the way to the bottom. There were a few fish jumping, too. There was ice covering the west side of the lake, but the whole east half was free. The reflection of the mountains in the lake was beautiful.
The sun came out and it warmed up, and we started our walk back to our vehicles. We started down, and took the turnoff to the hut. We couldn't believe how nice it was!
We all had lunch there, either sitting on the porch of the hut or off exploring. The mosquitoes were pretty thick, so it was hard to sit still. The pit toilet was almost like a regular restroom, which was nice.
When we were finishing up lunch, a large group of people showed up. They told us all about the hut and how you can book nights at Huts.org (they said it was $30 per night, per person, for that particular hut). They also said that the entire year was booked by last February, and that this hut was the only one that allowed you to drive right up to it. It sleeps 16, and they had about that many people. It looked like they were going to have a great stay. They also let us come inside to check out the hut, which was really nice.
We worked our way back down the trail after our visit was over, and it didn't take long at all to get back to Wurts Ditch. We finished out that trail and then went out to the highway via No Name Gulch. This was such a gorgeous trail, and one of our new favorites.