Hike Difficulty: tough with all the snow
Hike Length: 4.01 mi RT
Elevation Gain: 643 ft
Highest Point: 6096 ft
Time: 1 hr 33 mins
My Rating (out of 5): 4.5 – This is an area that I’ve been wanting to explore, but never gave it another chance. It was looking like I could adjust the length of my hike depending on how I was feeling, so I was ready to try for a whole 16 miles. I was really hoping that there wouldn’t be much snow at Sky Lakes after a recent weather event. But driving the last half mile to the Nannie Creek Trailhead, more and more snow was accumulated, so I realized a little late that my 16 miles would be pretty difficult to obtain.
I was expecting maybe 15% of the hike to be snowy and the rest would be normal terrain, but it was the exact opposite. The further I climbed, the snow gradually got deeper until it was above my running shoes. Yes, I was a bit unprepared with footwear, but my feet were warm enough since I was moving — I always find it easier to just run in snow than to walk.
Eventually, I was rounding the bend to come to Puck Lakes and I had about .4 miles to go when I decided to turn back. The snow was getting in my shoes with every step and I was doing a lot of downhill to get to the lakes. I didn’t want to have to make my way out of there and regret going too far out. I think I made the right choice, though it made me want to buy some snowshoes. Tomorrow, I’ll be hiking another mountain further north and I’ll definitely have my boots in the trunk just in case there’s snow.