Hike Difficulty: moderate
Hike Length: 4.43 mi (trailhead->Babyfoot Lake->rim above lake->trailhead)
Elevation Gain: 880 ft
Time: 41 mins and 1 hr 35 mins
My Rating (out of 5): 4.5 – I must ashamedly admit that I have only been doing dayhiking up to this point and have not been brave enough to do an overnight at any of my hikes. Even if it is 10 miles roundtrip, I still make it back to my car in the same day. This was my first backpacking trip and it went amazingly.
Babyfoot Lake is in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, many parts of which were ravaged during the 2002 Biscuit Fire. This area has hundreds of dead, burnt standing trees, giving it a eerie, yet open vibe. I read that it was popular so I thought I’d be sharing the lake with other groups, but it was just my roommate, my dog, and I.
We left on Friday night. I had to wait on my roommate to get off of work, so we got a late start driving out to the trailhead off of Eight Dollar Mountain Rd. Somehow, we had enough daylight to reach the lake and set up camp. The sunset was all sorts of pink and orange, making the jagged, treeless mountains in the foreground stand out even more.
Since it was a lake, I expected it to be a little buggy and it definitely was. Still, I loved experiencing the sights of the lake at different times of day. The nighttime was a bit creepy. A gray fox came into our camp, as did 5 or so deer over the course of the night. No major predators, thankfully. I didn’t sleep well because Grace was freaked out and tried to hog my sleeping pad. All the same, this was an amazing first backpacking experience. I will definitely return to explore more of the Kalmiopsis soon.