An adult black bear appeared in the distance and quickly disappeared into the woods. We moved on posthaste, talking loudly.
After a few more miles on the windy plateau – with views all the way to Seward and Resurrection Bay in the distance – we were getting cold. Really cold.
Turquoise Lost Lake in view, we took shelter under an alpine knoll and ate maybe the best trail lunch ever: canned dolmas, smoked Gouda, date bread and gummy bears. To our left, the 5,710 ft. Mt. Ascention towered.
Crossing a small, seasonal bridge across Lost Creek, we entered a section of undulating hills and small, shrubby spruce trees.
The trail then descended for more than four miles through a mossy forest, ending at the Primrose Campground.
There's a reason that this hike attracts such a variety of users: it's gentle enough for almost anyone, and makes an ideal day hike or an overnight.
The only downfall: It's snowed in until late in the season.
This weekend may very well be your last chance, but check local conditions before you go: Forest Service rangers in Seward say that termination dust is on the peaks and rain or snow is on the forecast.
If you go:
Directions: The trail starts at milepost five of the Seward Highway. Drive up the Lost Lake subdivision gravel road and follow signs to parking. You can also reverse the trip and hike from the Primrose Campground, at milepost 17.
Considerations: If you choose to head from one end (Lost Lakes Trail) to the other (Primrose Campground) you’ll need to arrange for transport back to you car at the opposite trailhead, or alternatively drop off a car. Also, it gets cold up on the ridge. Pack warm clothes and be prepared for rain, mud or even snow.
Winter use: It’s possible to reserve the Dale Clemens cabin year-round, accessible by snowshoe, ski or snowmachine. Maximum group size allowed is eight. Cabin is equipped with wooden bunks (four single bunks in the loft have pads), table, benches, a propane heater, a propane light, and an outhouse. It sleeps four comfortably. It has no mattresses or cooking utensils. Cabin users should bring sleeping bags & pads, cookstove, cooking gear, and food. Propane may not be available. Bicycle and horse use is not recommended due to numerous rock steps, crossovers and water bars, narrow boardwalks and fragile alpine vegetation. For information on access and regulations pertaining to this cabin, trail conditions, safety precautions and Leave No Trace Outdoor Skills and Ethics, please contact the District Office at 907-224-3374. (Information from recreation.gov)