This trek isnt for novices though it isnt too hard for people with above average fitness. The trail is well maintained, but still "wild". However the dramatic views, specially above the tree line are absolutely worth it. 4.7 miles one way appears deceptively short on its face value, but the elevation gain is 2000 ft so it will wear you out. Important tips:
1. START EARLY: If you arrive at Bear lake parking lot later than 7 AM, you will need to park away at other locations and take a shuttle. It wastes a huge amount of time as you gotta queue up for that both ways.
2. TIME: Getting on the trail before 7 will help you reach the top. We had to turn back just 200 ft below the top coz we ran into a snowstorm there (1st July) at 1 PM. Expect a total of 6 hours to get back to bear lake (moderately fit folks).
3. Even if its hot and sunny at Bear lake, get warm light jackets and gloves. Weather changes in a hurry past the tree line.
4. SNOW: Shoes with a good grip are essential. Even in july we had to walk through a lot of snow, with one particularly dangerous mini-field. Trail isnt easy to find when it starts snowing, Watch out for high speed winds carrying snow near the top. It would be wise to turn back if you encounter too much snow and are not prepared for it.
5. Views: Outstanding views throughout. Emerald and dream lake views specially.
6. Supplies: High energy food and camelback is essential. If you are not acclimatized, this hike WILL come with altitude sickness.
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