Bear Lake, at last

After a rough struggle over slippery fern-papered boulders, tailings, crumbling rock, brush, more slippery rocks, and some serious vertical rocks, we finally arrived at the Bear Lake, for a well-deserved lunch. This is a view of the rocky slope I call the stairway to heaven — a bit of wordplay since the Paradise Lakes are visible on the other side. Or, as I rediscovered, they can be visible if you are ready and willing to make the final ascent to the top of the minor summits on one side or the other. I usually do the one on the left, the one that I call "Mile High Peak" for reasons you can imagine.

(Actually, this is the lower of the two Bear Lakes, though the upper lake is little more than a small pond, and we didn't explore there. If things were not confusing enough, there is another quite different Bear Lake under 8 miles from this location... though in terms of getting there, very far away.)

Lower Bear Lake