Brian Conner (a friend from Focus on the Family) and I hike up to Hartenstein Lake on April 22, 2007 from the Denny Creek Trailhead. There was still plenty of snow around, but conditions were excellent for a hike. The snow was consolidated fairly well so once the packed trail ended snowshoeing was still quite easy.
Below is a Map and profile of the route we hiked. This information was gathered using a Garmin GPS unit and National Geographic's TOPO! program to clean it up and plot it on the map.
Click the photo to get an enlarged version of the map.
The trailhead is completely clear and easily accessed by any vehicle. This is a great trailhead for those without 4X4 vehicles. There is even a restroom here.
The trail heads North along an old road that was once used to reach Browns Pass and the old Hartenstein Lake Lodge.
The trail starts in some heavy woods and the snow lingers a long time here, however due to the popularity the trail is usually well packed.
The streams were flowing strong due to the spring melt off.
Snow bridges helped provide access accross the three stream crossings.
As the trail approaches treeline (though it never gets above it), the views begin to open up of the surrounding mountains.
A small headwall along the trail is a great place to stop and get a picture or two.
Point 12,956 looks spectacular from the trail, and the cornices served as a reminder that avalanche danger still exists.
Though the avalanche risk was low that day, we did detour a little to stear clear of this very large chute's run-out.
As the trail nears the lake it levels out across an open area that provides excellent views of Mount Yale.
The lake was of course still frozen solid and covered in snow, but it was still beautiful.
I was wearing the North Face jacket I was testing for the Mountain Techs project that day, very impressive jacket.
This is the view of Mt Yale from the lake.
For those looking to climb Yale soon this is a zoom in on the upper portion of the route.
It was a fantastic day for a hike. It did snow on us a bit, but that just added to the beauty of this valley.
If anyone knows why there is a quartermile stretch of the trail where many of the rocks have holes drilled into them please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know. I'm very curious.
A parting shot of Mount Yale.
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