Did you know that there is a Lilly Lake and a Lily Lake on the Mirror Lake Highway? The better known Lilly Lake is right on the road, features a small campground, and is a popular fishing spot because you can park right next to it. This post, however, is about the short family-friendly hike to the lesser known Lily Lake.
- Rating: Moderate
- Distance: 3.0 miles roundtrip
- Elevation Gain: 610 ft.
- Dog-Friendly: Yes, on leash.
- Tips: You can also drive to this liken ATVs or trucks.
The Lily Lake hike is easy, rarely visited, and short at only three miles round trip. It starts at the Bear River Guard Station, which is quite a bit farther than Mirror Lake and the other busy parts of the drive. (Find it at about mile marker 46.)
There is parking at the guard station, and there are never many vehicles there. The trail to Lily Lake starts right behind the building and has a very clear sign. The path wanders up the hill, but it is never too steep. In the morning it is generally shady, and in the evening, it is mostly sunny, though you can find some shade to rest from the climb.
The foliage seems different on this side of the mountain. There are still plenty of trees, but they are not the alpine variety that you see up on some of the other lake trails. It is also not quite as cool. This is definitely a morning hike.
As you hike, you come across two ATV roads that cross the trail. The first one comes at about the halfway point, and the second comes as you are nearing the lake. These roads are good signs that you are making progress, but don’t accidentally turn off the trail. It’s pretty obvious, though.
You should be warned that though this trail is quiet and hidden, the lake may not be. There are forest roads to Lily Lake, and people drive there to fish. Still, it is a beautiful, calm lake. Our boys enjoyed throwing rocks and looking for fish and frogs. After you reach the lake, turn around and head back down to the guard station.
We hiked Lily Lake on a Sunday afternoon. Since it is located far away from the busiest part of the Mirror Lake Highway, we didn’t see a single soul even though there were cars lining the roads around most trailheads. If you are looking for a little solitude, then this hike is for you!