Quick hike to a stunning lake.


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FATMAP difficulty grade



Vagt Lake is an incredibly scenic spot tucked away from the stresses of civilization.

This 4.2-mile round-trip route will take you to the best viewpoints along Vagt Lake and give you a welcome break from society.

If, however, you want to make this hike as easy as possible, you can reach the first view of Vagt Lake in just 1.4 miles one-way, for a round-trip hike of 2.8 miles. The hike begins from a conveniently-accessible trailhead right off the highway on the shores of the much larger Lower Trail Lake.

The trail begins as a crushed gravel path, but after rolling along mildly, it will start to climb up the hillside on a narrow singletrack trail. This trail is rooty and a bit rough in places with a few exposed stones, but the footing is quite good and the trail is usually well-maintained.

The roots can be slippery when wet, but uphill passage is easily gained. At the T-Junction, take a left toward Vagt Lake.

You'll soon reach the first views of the lake and then drop down to the shore.

There, you might even spot a canoe upside down on the beach with a paddle propped next to it, inviting you to take it out onto the lake.

It's up to you if you trust the hull patches and liberal swathes of duct tape to hold the canoe together. You can either turn around at this point for a short hike or continue following the trail along the lake.

The trail soon climbs up to a small bluff above Vagt Lake, which affords beautiful views of the lake, the mountains in the background, and a few glaciers high above.

There are a couple of stunning spots to stop and soak in the beauty, including an overlook with a wooden diving platform built on top of a small cliff band. Once done enjoying the views (or cliff jumping if the weather is warm), it's unfortunately time to head back to civilization.

Simply retrace your steps to return to your car.