Last weekend my friend and I hiked to Sioux Charley Lake. We were actually going to hike to another lake but we were so busy talking that we missed the turn and had to change our plans. Although it was raining we both decided we didn’t care! As you can see the rain makes for some magical photos.
Map it before you go because you quickly lose service. We weren’t 100% sure but we lost it maybe 30 minutes to an hour before the trail. Basically you head to the Stillwater Nye Mine and keep going. There is plenty of parking, bigger spaces for trailers, and a restroom at the trail head.
what to bring
This hike is 7 miles and unless you are in great shape I highly recommend you bring at least a few of the basics.
Bear spray - #1 recommendation. Moose, bears, and mountain lions are frequently spotted in this area.
Clothing - in the summer I would recommend sunglasses, a hat, and comfortable clothes. In the winter and spring it’s all about layers. It rained quite a bit the day we hiked it and I think that’s common for the area.
Water and snacks… and a celebratory drink! It would be fun to hike this in the summer and have a picnic at the end. I had about 2.5 liters of water and didn’t drink it all.
Sun protection - I am saying it again, sunglasses, hat, sunscreen, and bug spray! Because it’s along a river I’m sure the bugs are bad in the summer.
Camera - because always ;)
Optional swim suit - The water looks like it would be amazing in the summer, although I just read a post that it’s still pretty cold. But sometimes that’s okay when it’s hot! We thought it looked nice; we might even go back with water toys!
Optional toilet paper and hand sanitizer. There is a bathroom at the trail head but it did not have toilet paper when we went.
One of the most amazing things about this hike is the vast terrain. At the beginning you walk a narrow trail along a giant rock wall along the rushing river. Soon you wind along the river and start to climb. Eventually you are in tall grass and trees until the trail widens enough that you can see the lake. The rain made the entire thing magical and although it was just a few days ago I already dream about going back !
I do want to make one disclaimer: The lake isn’t actually a lake but a widening of the river. Once you reach the widening there are places to stop and enjoy food and drinks along the river. The water looked perfect for fly fishing although again someone said there is mostly small brown trout. I don’t know much about fishing to know if that’s a good or bad thing. ;) And although it’s long, this hike is perfect for families because you only gain about 600 feet over the course of three miles. It’s relatively flat and well marked. And you don’t have to cross the river to make it to your destination.