About 20 cars were parked by the time we got there around 11 am. It was one of those days where you would be fine with either shorts or pants. We needed layers against wind and extra sunscreen as the day progressed.
Over the first ridge we were surprised to see a long, rather steep snow field to cross. We watched an experienced hiker with a large backpack take slow, deliberate steps across, and a dog and a kid do it much less carefully. The snow pack changes by the hour, be cautious here, for the slide down would be long with a potentially painful end. Look down for a thrill, feel awesome after you've crossed. (This was my favorite part of this hike. The scent of mountain phlox was my companion's favorite.)
Meadow after meadow of glacier lilies, doing their little dance in the wind. Also pasque flowers, stream violets and many more wildflowers yet to come. Larch are surprisingly beautiful (and soft), even when they're not gold.
Plenty of small stream crossings and brief areas where we walked through shallow water or mud rather than unnecessarily trample plants. Lots of scat. Babbling streams, chirping thrush, grand mountains and skies with ever changing clouds. Love that this area is protected by the Wilderness Act. This hike is a wonderful appetizer to the Pasayten Wilderness!
We met about 15 people on the trail, none with face coverings except us. Very passable trails, but with vulnerable family members at home, it's a nice sign of respect to see a hiker with a face covering at least around the neck, ready to pull up when we get close. Thank you to dog owners who leash their dogs well in advance of encountering another hiker. We picked up a few pieces of toilet paper off the trail. Reminder: Leave No Trace!
We stayed at Meadows Campground even though Hart's Pass Campground seemed to have vacancy on this Saturday eve. Meadows is quiet and spacious and we enjoyed incredible views of the Milky Way. If you stay there, stake your tent well; the wind was fierce our second night.