When the heat of summer makes all of our lower-elevation trails a challenge we can drive up to the high country at over 4000 feet and hike on trails in the cooler montane forest. In a summer of smoky conditions, it is also an opportunity to get above the smoke-filled river valleys. Stake Lake is easy to get to and has over 60km of marked trails for hikers, mountain bikers, and dog walkers. From the Stake Lake parking lot we can head south and east and pick our own route in the hills.
The added advantages of hiking the Stake Lake Trails in summer is that the high country is cooler, shade is available along the route, and wildlife may be spotted. On our last hike we met a bear, a deer, and a hare. With so many trail options, hikers can customize their own route. We met a group of hikers that had no route plan; they made a decision at each junction, a series of turns-by-whim.
We like the 3 viewpoints and most of our hikes on the Stake Lake Trails include one of them. Viewpoints make a good place for a lunch break before looping back to the parking lot.