“A must-do trail leading to a must-see alpine lake.”
— Brian Smith
Birding · Cave · Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Gain access to this trail from the Wild Basin Trailhead via the Thunder Lake Trail
Start hiking up the initial steep pitch up toward the ridge. The lack of large trees here is due to an intense forest fire that burned the area in the late 1970s. Enjoy the views of surrounding mountains and valleys as you crest the ridge and join Ouzel Creek. From here, the grade lessens and hiking becomes much more easy going.
If you're looking for an extra mile of trail and views of another beautiful lake, consider the Ouzel Lake Trail
which will branch off to the left (south) at the 1.5 mile mark. Continuing just past the two mile mark, the grade begins steepening significantly. The trail climbs almost 11,000 feet over the next mile and a half to Bluebird Lake, so get your legs ready.
Expect much trickier navigation on this portion of trail - both in terms of technical difficulty and ease of wayfinding. Work your way up and over large rocky obstacles and keep in mind that the trail generally heads toward the west-southwest here. Eventually, you'll pop out at Bluebird Lake. Staggering views of the surrounding peaks abound.