Return via the Crest Trail

The fog started to return. Rather than taking all of the same grinding switchbacks on the way back up the hill, we took the longer and easier way, going 0.6 miles south from Surprise Lake to rejoin the Crest Trail, then following it northeast 1.6 more miles back to the pass at a more even pace.

I remember thinking about the nice open views where the trail crossed boulder fields, though the views would have been even better if the two lakes were visible. This route did not bypass all of the brushy switchbacks — I counted 29 switchback legs between the Surprise Lake Cutoff junction and the pass.

Crest trail, west of pass

Amber Jurgensen photo