Starting your hike from Bear Lake,
you can easily take advantage of so many wonderful destinations.
On January 25, I decided that I wanted to make my way towards Lake
Haiyaha. This is a beautiful lake characterized by the very large
boulders surrounding it. In fact, "haiyaha" is thought
to be an Indian word meaning "big rocks." Having only
been to the lake in the summer, finding the deeply snow-covered
trail was much easier said than done.
I started at Bear Lake in the midst
of a very pleasant morning. It wasn't too cold and not as windy
as it had been the past few days. I made my way up the winter trail
to Nymph Lake, and took a few minutes to soak in the scenery and
snap a few pictures. The wind had picked up a bit, so it was not
a hard decision to get back on the trail, keep the blood pumping,
and stay warm.
On the trail, just above Nymph Lake,
the sun began an attempt to fend off the the thickening clouds and
blowing snow. This made for some very beautiful shots, and made
the snowshoeing even more enjoyable.
As I turned the corner towards Dream
Lake, the wind became more like the usual winter winds in the park.
I strapped on some goggles and started to head south towards Lake
The beginning of the trail was pretty
icy, and I was accepting the help of the trees alongside the trail
lending their hands for a little support. The trail levels out and
the thick forest helps to keep the wind at bay. Normally, there
are wonderful views on this trail, but because of the low clouds
and the strong winds, they were very limited.
Having only been to Lake Haiyaha
during the summer, and with all of the snow on the ground, there
was a point where the trail disappeared. I managed to get pretty
far by memory, but then everything began to seem very unfamiliar.
The wind picked up some more, and it began to snow a little. I walked
about a 1/4 of a mile to the north, towards the lake, but never
found the trail again. Unsure about what the weather had planned,
I decided to head back towards Bear lake.
Even though I didn't make it to
Haiyaha, it was still an incredible hike. From Dream Lake on, I
was making fresh tracks in the snow. It was a beautiful day, and
the snow was incredible. In my opinion, snowshoeing can't get too
much better than that.