time of year: summer
hike length: 1.2 miles one way
total time: about 3 hours there and back, but we stopped a lot to take pictures
Mirror Lake was a great hike that I would do again in a heartbeat. You can either walk on the one mile paved trail that takes you straight to mirror lake or you can take the unpaved trail loop that we did. If you take the trail loop, you hike through so many different landscapes starting with hiking through a forest of giant sequoia trees, walking past many rivers with rushing water, giant stones that create caves and finally the lake itself that is surrounded by a huge meadow with the most beautiful mountain views and sprouting wildflowers. I love hiking in natural places, so taking the unpaved trail loop was a very easy decision for us.
The hike itself is fairly easy, moderate if you're not a regular adventurer. I would recommend to wear sturdy boots that you don't care too much to get dirty as there is no paved walkway and it was very muddy at times. We spent a lot of time walking on the rocks right next to the track instead of the muddy tracks that we could have slipped on!
Next time I would love to visit Mirror Lake in spring after the winter snow has melted and the lake is filled up. We went during the middle of summer while there were many hot days in a row and the lake was mostly dried up. That didn't get our hopes down though, with a little bit of camera trickery (hanging my arms over whatever water was left while I was taking a photo) I still got some photos I was super happy with of Mirror Lake reflecting the surrounding mountains. Here are the photos from our afternoon adventure.
We set off on the 1.2 mile hike to Mirror Lake.
My first photo stop was this river - I am obsessed with fresh water and natural rivers! I did get a big mosquito bite on my forehead while I was shooting around this river, so next time I might not want to forget the insect repellent..
A crystal clear blue lake.
Our first glimpses of the mountains surrounding Mirror Lake.
A friendly squirrel who came up to us for enough time to snap a few photos.
When we got to our destination we realised the lake was a bit uhhhh.. dry!
Taking a break from the summer heat in the soft grass.
Me ruining dan's hipster photos!
As we sat down for a few minutes, there was a little squirrel we were watching run up and down the metal grate. I caught him in this picture, can you find him?
Taking photos of wildflowers then noticing my friends in the distance waiting and watching me haha.
What was left of the lake - at least the whole thing didn't evaporate!
I found the furthest dry point near the lake to take this photo, my feet dangerously near the edge and me leaning over as far as I could to get a shot with just water.
A deer walking on the hiking path.
There was a storm predicted during our hike, but we were lucky to just get a few storm clouds roll over us and no storm.
The sun came back out to play eventually as we finished and headed back to go to our next hike.
all photos edited with my Disposable Film Lightroom Preset!