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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    915 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    18.5 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    Alpine Lakes Trail to Lake 8609

    Alpine Lakes Trail to Lake 8609

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    Table of contents

    Breathtaking mountain views and idyllic alpine lakes await you on the Alpine Lakes Trail to Lake 8609. Packed with wonderment and elevation gain, this incredible high-country hike explores a variety of landscapes, exhibiting a diversity of flora and fauna that occupy the alpine environment.

    Route Description for Alpine Lakes Trail to Lake 8609

    The Alpine Lakes Trail to Lake 8609 is an amazing adventure that tests hikers physically and mentally. While this route is demanding, the spell-binding scenery is well worth the effort—don’t forget your camera! Traveling a long distance to high altitudes, trekkers are encouraged to head out in the early morning to return to the trailhead before nightfall. Additionally, it is important to bring plenty of water and snacks to stay fueled. Note that much of the terrain is exposed, so dress in layers as insurance against changing conditions. Keep your eyes on the skies for afternoon thunderstorms.

    Embark on your adventure along the Alpine Lakes Trail to Lake 8609 from the Iron Creek Trailhead. Setting out from here, you will be guided west along the Iron Creek-Stanley Lake Trail into a luxuriant meadow. Soon after your departure, you will confront an intersection. Here, turn right, and you will be diverted onto the Alpine Way Trail, steeply gaining a ridge. From here, the path will briefly plateau, offering you relief from the relentless ascent. Admire the scenes of Mystery Mountain rising from the landscape, then begin the trek along the contours of the mountainside. After some climbing, you will reach an unassuming intersection—turn left here.

    Beyond this point, the terrain will become increasingly rugged and rocky, climbing into the alpine basin bound by the ridges of Mystery Mountain and McGown Peak. Explore the several glacial pools that line the snow-melt creek, and you will ultimately reach Lake 8609. Revel in the grandeur of the mountainous landscape, then head back along the path the way you came to the trailhead.

    Getting to the Alpine Lakes Trail to Lake 8609 Trailhead

    The Alpine Lakes Trail to Lake 8609 departs from the Iron Creek Trailhead off National Forest Development Road 619.

    Route Information

    • Backcountry Campground:

      Dispersed Camping

    • When to do:


    • Pets allowed:

      Yes - On Leash

    • Family friendly:


    • Route Signage:


    • Crowd Levels:


    • Route Type:

      Out and back

    Alpine Lakes Trail to Lake 8609 Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather


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