Twin Crater Lakes - 0707-0708


Jan 24, 2017
This weekend was my second challenge since my calf rehabilitation started 2 months ago and it would be my longest trip to date. I headed northwest to the Rawah Wilderness. Home to glacier-carved lakes, rushing water, bear, moose, bighorn and many other sites, sounds and wonders. For this trip I almost 8 miles in and taking a trail that would push me with an elevation gain of over 3000 feet. Overall it was a wonderful weekend and my calf held up well... though 8 weeks of limited leg workouts definitely showed. Then there is that fact of leaving behind the sunscreen and bugspray... argh.

My wildlife viewing started immediately... as in before I ever parked at the trailhead. I was going down a bumpy 6 mile dirt road and came around a corner to see a young male moose. I pulled to a stop and we eye-balled each other. I swear he contemplated taking my Jeep on for a minute, which for me was not a great option. He may of been a young male but he easily still weighed over 1000 lbs :) Thankfully he headed off and I meandered on to the trailhead parking. I headed up the valley and almost immediately started gaining elevation and felt my legs reminding me I have not been working them out lately. However, even with the few stops to chat with other backpackers (and actually using that as an excuse to rest) I still managed to arrive at my overnight destination in just under 4 hours. There were a couple others there but thankfully the distance and challenge of this hike meant anyone carrying a backpack up there was likely a dedicated backpacker and thus we all had our own spots for peace if wanted yet close enough if I wanted to go chat a bit. I had hardly began to setup my tent when a small group of bighorn sheep meandered within 20 feet of where I sat.

Actually I saw quite a bit of wildlife this weekend though sadly (or maybe thankfully) I did not see another moose. Next time I mean to take the loop to see some of the other lakes and I am sure I will see moose then.

After my nap I opted to go exploring and climbing some. While it did not rain while I was there, I did have to make a very quick decent due to some rumbling above me. Since I could not see what was behind the summit I was taking no chances and set a record getting down the slope to find anything around the lake taller than me (not that hard to do really either).

Thankfully the storm went around and I had a nice evening which was not overly cool or windy and woke to a great sunrise where I had a very healthy breakfast of pop-tarts (a delicacy I reserve solely for backpacking trips) and coffee, cleared camp, and headed for home.

Enjoy the photos!

Crossing on over...

High quality bridge...

Smaller of the two lakes... decent mirror image

Outflow from the Twin Crater Lakes

Wildflowers everywhere... I posted more in the Wildflowers thread




One of several snow-fed streams coming down the mountainside. Was the best tasting icy-cold water!







I do not take selfies very frequently.... but well... why not....

Believe it or not, there are bighorn in this shot up on the mountainside (I sooo need to go ahead and get a camera)


Because I am able.
Dec 31, 2017
Great report! Love the selfie!
Glad your Jeep did not get attacked by the moose. :twothumbs:


Ready For More
Jul 23, 2013
One selfie per trip is always justified and appropriate in my book. Beautiful looking area! Thanks for sharing.
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