Lawn Lake – 13.4mi / 21.6km
Formerly a reservoir, this lake experienced a catastrophic dam failure in 1982 leaving behind a slightly smaller lake set in a gorgeous landscape.
The trail switchbacks up through tall ponderosa pines as you climb out of Horseshoe Park. Roaring River splashes over the Alluvial Fan into the lovely green meadows below. As you turn into the river’s drainage, you begin following this lively river up through the forest. The famous dam failure has left a crumbling bed for the continuous cascade of a river.
You’ll switchback up the drainage on a moderate grade as the forest changes from lodgepole pine forest to subalpine fir. The river drops through the valley on a long, continuous cascade over smooth granite. The trail comes alongside this mesmerizing section of river just before it finishes switchbacking and levels out. From here, notable summits of the Mummy Range, Fairchild Mountain, Hague Peak, and Mummy Mountain become more visible.
You’re almost at Lawn Lake when you come alongside the gash that is the riverbed. Evidence of the dam failure is obvious here where the wall of water started ripping through the valley. The serene lake itself is surrounded by boulder strewn meadows. The gnarled face of Mummy Mountain towers behind you while ridgelines from Fairchild Mountain backdrop the lake. The lake’s shore is easy to explore with ample lunch spots. Keep an eye out for moose amongst the vegetation at the lake’s inlet.
Continue up the trail to the lovely Crystal Lake if energy and time permit.
Trailhead: From Fall River Road, turn onto the Old Fall River Road. Begin at the Lawn Lake Trailhead which is just down the road on the right.
Elevation Gain: 2,650ft / 795m – Elevation Loss: 2,650ft / 795m