We haven’t been up to The Loch (Loch Vale) since last winter, and we weren’t sure what to expect once we got into the Park.
Our first sign that there was lots of snow was a ranger at the Beaver Meadows entrance turning cars around that didn’t meet the minimum tread depth requirement for the icy and snowy roads. Plenty of disappointed faces doing U-turns and heading back towards town.
While the roads weren’t all that bad, it helped us score front-row parking at the Bear Lake trailhead – practically unheard of.
Thin Ice Possible
Meet The Locals
As we worked our way up the trail past Alberta Falls, the sky quickly clouded over and the snow started. Nice little flakes to add some wintry cheer.
All Piled Up
Down the Icicles
After the Mills Lake/Loch Vale trail split, the snow along the trail quickly became deeper and the snow falling became heavier. Once we could see the mountains surrounding the lake we knew we were in for a treat since it was a whiteout.
Stay On The Trail
Sure enough, it was blowing like stink at the lake, and I quickly found a spot on the west side tucked in under a massive rock wall to stomp out a snow fort for lunch.
Coming In Hot
Shelby and Tom make the final push to our lunch spot.
Even tucked into the wall, we would get the occasional lateral gust that would coat us all with powder.
Lunch With a View
Not much of a view this direction!
Spot the Little Hikers
The wind and snow continued to pick up as we ate lunch, and we were glad that our return hike was with our back to the wind until we entered the heavier woods again!
Follow the Leader
Frozen in Time
Those Blasted Blasts!
We get pummeled on our exit.