Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Lake Lillian, Lake Laura, Rampart Lakes 9.9.03

I had heard that there was a fisherman's trail to Lake Laura and Lake Lillian, and since I only had a half day to devote to hiking this week, Justin and I thought we would check it out. Instead of following the road to the traditional trailhead we turned at the swithchback with the sign pointing to the lake Lillian trailhead at approx 3300ft. The road is in good shape, follow the first right branch until you come to an elbow in the road. Here there is ample parking. Just follow the old logging road until it turns into a very steep and very defined fisherman's trail. The trail splits with the left branch going to Lake Laura and the right continues on to Lake Lillian. After a little over 30 minutes we were already at Lake Lillian. It had been many years since I had been there, but if memory serves me well it took around 2 hours the traditional way. I left Justin to do some fishing while I made an attempt at Rampart Ridge's highpoint (pt 5870). There is a clearly defined boot path on the northeast corner of Lake Lillian that climbs steeply to the ridge line. I followed this path until it splits just after the first tarn. I decided to follow the right path which I hoped would take me to the Rampart Lakes. The path was easy to follow and after about 45 minutes I was already at the uppermost Rampart Lake. I fished for a short while catching some nice cutts. Since time was short I headed back leaving the ridge high point un-climbed. While I was gone Justin had plenty of company, a group of eight had come and gone. We passed this group on the way down, I guess they figured they could use a shortcut as well. I gave two of them a ride back to their cars that were parked at the Lake Margaret trailhead so they could come back and pick up the remainder of their party.

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