Now, that having been said, the obvious question is, which Hidden Lake, since 'Hidden' Lakes are as common as 'Lost' Lakes, and
'Clear' Creeks. This particular one is located over the ridge, and a ways to the east of Marten-Kelly-Elizabeth Lakes. The actual coordinates:
44.295761, -115.117294. To say that this one is off the general hiker's radar is to master the art of understatement. Which naturally
makes it an object of intense interest to me.
The significant drawback to wholescale visits by the thundering hordes, is that fact that the original trail to this nondescript lake has
long since disappeared, and so, navigation-wise, one is on one's own from the git-go. For me, one addicted to off-trail excursions, that
only makes it more attractive, so Tuesday morning, we head off for the Stanley Basin, and about 1 or 2 pm we began our trudge across
the unremarkable meadow that begins this trek.
As background, it is pertainent to note that this 'meadow' is what was, in distant times, a lake, which became a swamp and eventually a
meadow. So, as we got closer and closer to the west end of this meadow, it became more and more difficult to keep out of the squishy
sections of this acreage. During the last part of this trek across the meadow, one just gave up and hoped that you could dry out the boots at the
lake. Finally, after what began to seem like a forever slog, we reached the climb to the lake, about 200+ feet of quite steep terrain.
Once the lake came into view it was obvious that this lake was anything but spectacular, and very lightly visited. Only one place suitable for
camping was found, along with a seldom-used firepit.
We overnighted and started back out. Not wanting to repeat the 'forever slog' I chose to make an attempt to remain on the top of the ridge
that bordered the meadow. Aside from the constant deviating around, and stepping over, the ever-present blowdowns, it turned out to be a
wise decision. We came out far down the meadow, back to the point where the walking was dry.
A couple of interesting things about this forgotten lake: 1) In spite of the fact that this is an over 7000'+ lake, that had only recently lost
its snow, the water was uncommonly warm. What is the deal with that?, & 2) The fish that were 'rising', instead of making the little dimples
in the water that I am familar with, these pescatory denizens were reducing the water to a froth where they were rising, and on one occasion
a very sizeable looking tail fin was seen to come up as the fish was somersaulting back into the water having reduced the area pest
quotient by one. From what I saw of the fish eating habits, this is a lake for fly fishermen. The only fly in that ointment is the fact that
this lake is shallow around the edges, and deep out in the middle. Maybe a float tube is called for.
From another perspective
The troop begins to move out towards the TH
Contact: The Hiker... or the Goats!