As-of mid June 2013
Fellow "trekkers" – thought you all might be interested in an early-season trail review on nearby Larson Lakes Trail. Starting out a bit below the trailhead at about 8:15 am on Thursday, June 13 (4WD suggested to get from the IOOF Cemetery up to limited trailhead parking), the trail to Larson Lakes was about 4 miles (a bit more if you have to trek to the trailhead or add a hike around the lakes). All-in-all, not a hard trail, but definitely take a lot of mosquito repellant to ward off the sometimes-swarms of little blood suckers!
The first mile of the trail, which leads to Thompson Lake, climbs a bit, but does level out. A hiking stick is a plus to keep from slipping on loose gravel, rocks and dirt both uphill and down, and for quite a few small stream crossings along the entire trail. Not far past the Thompson Lake signpost/turnoff, the Larson Lakes Trail was and might still be blocked by a very large fallen tree. A small detour that entailed climbing over trunk and limbs was all that was needed and the trek continued.
Other than more fallen trees to maneuver around and the stream crossings, the hike to Larson Lakes from Thompson is a relatively easy, flat to minor up-and-down stroll. During the last mile or so, however, a bit of elevation gain might have you breathing harder.
Pluses to this hike are the views, the wildflowers now in very-much bloom, fishing or just relaxing at Thompson Lake and Larson Lakes, and wildlife spotting. Before reaching Larson Lakes, a beautiful meadow opens up on both sides of the trail – and on this hike we watched two young elk crossing in the distance.