The eight of us decided it was time for us to hit a mountain lake. A snowy winter had caused the high country to remain snowed in until late and I was to be out of town in August. We figured it was now or never. We worked through options and settled on a return to one of our favorite lakes, Lower Gospel.
The day was warm as the eight of us headed in. High pressure had taken hold of Idaho, pushing temperatures routinely into the low to mid 90’s. We arrived at the trailhead as the only car, shrugged on our packs, and started walking. The trail is technically unmaintained, but receives enough use to have an obvious tread, and some of the previous trips’ downed trees had been cut.
We made it into the lake around 4:00 and set up our hammocks. From there we headed to the lakeshore where we spent the afternoon swimming and catching the lake’s numerous cutthroat trout. We built a small fire, fixed dinner, and turned in for the evening.
Sunday morning dawned clear and cool. We explored around camp before heading out. Wyatt decided he wanted to exit by a different route. While the rest of us went back to the car by the same route we came in, he headed up to East Gospel Lake, gained the north ridge, circled over Pyramid Peak and out. We picked him up at the East Gospel trailhead before we all headed back home.
See it Yourself: Lower Gospel Lake Trail is not maintained, but is very easy to follow once you locate the elusive trailhead on the FSR 444. There is a large forest service sign at a saddle (the old site of Windy Camp), right before the road begins to steeply climb up the flanks of Gospel Hill. If you park there turn and head back down the way you came about a hundred yards and you will see a footpath with a small cairn marking it from the road. A very short distance down the trail you will see a sign warning you that the trail is not maintained. Tread is pretty obvious over much of its length and it is about 2.4 miles in length with a 600 ft drop to the creek before it climbs another 300 ft to the lake.