“A longer, but easier, way to reach the heart of the Mountain Lakes Wilderness.”
— Bruce Hope
Fall Colors · Lake · Swimming · Commonly Backpacked
The usual federal wilderness area regulations and restrictions apply here. There may also be additional wilderness-specific restrictions in force; check with the district office if in doubt. Practice Leave No Trace (LNT) backcountry skills and ethics. Camp 100 feet from fragile areas; bury human waste at least 200 feet from water, trails, and campsites. This trail is usually closed by snow from November to June.
The 4.4 mile long Varney Creek Trail #3718 starts at the Varney Creek Trailhead on the east side of the Mountain Lakes Wilderness and climbs at a moderate gradient to meet the Mountain Lakes Loop Trail #3727
. From there you can access Lake Como, Eb and Zeb Lakes, and Lake Harriette. Fishing and swimming opportunities are plentiful at these mountain lakes. The Varney Creek Trail #3718 is a longer approach to Lake Harriette than if you used the Clover Creek Trail #3722
coming in from the southwest. The advantage with the Varney is that you don't have an approximately 1,000 foot climb out of the lake basin at the end of your trip.