This is one of my favourite hikes from the Summer of 2016. You can see how beautiful the scenery is from the pictures I took throughout the hike. My Husband and I chose to backpack to Hilton Lakes,although you can definitely day hike up there.
Hilton Lakes is an out and back 8.3 miles trail with an elevation gain of 2437 feet. It’s a Mid-Late Summer/early Fall hike in the main, as much of the trail is buried in snow even so far as into the first week of July, so check trail conditions before you go. You can take dogs on this trail, but they must remain on a lease at all times.
If you choose to backpack then you must have a permit which you can apply for at the recreation.gov website: https://www.recreation.gov/
You can start this trail near the Pack Station at Rock Creek Lake, the trail takes you through a forested wonderland of whitebark and lodgepole pines before entering a basin of lakes,including Hilton and Davis Lakes.
The Lakes are great for fishing, we caught Golden and Rainbow Trout- delicious! If you backpack then you’ll need (and want) to secure your food in a bear canister, bears sightings are common along this hike and although they don’t pose a threat to humans,they do want your food and they will smell it! There is some great info on the REI website regarding food storage and the importance on it within the National Parks, Forests and Wilderness areas. REI: Bear Canisters
You can purchase the canister at many outdoor stores, or online. I recommend buying it at REI as they have a great returns policy. REI Food Canister/ storage
Have fun! Take sunscreen, mosquito spray, fishing pole and lot’s of water. Try not to OVER pack if backpacking, a lighter pack = a much more enjoyable hike!
(Purple coded trail route below)