On the same day my wife and I hiked the Proxy Falls trail we also hiked the Linton Lake trail. According to the Forest Service web site this trail is only 1.5 miles one-way, but my GPS showed a total of 6.2 miles travelled for this trail. I did hike the trail both ways (3 miles) plus I took a whole lot of side trips, but I don’t think I covered that much distance. I had my GPS in my pants pocket (because the clip needed to attach it elsewhere was broken) so some of that is likely due to poor satellite reception giving wildly inaccurate positions.
Even under ideal conditions, if I leave the GPS tracking on while I stop for lunch it will decide that I am at some random point within a 30′ radius of my actual position every time it takes a measurement (every 10 seconds). This is due to the inherent inaccuracy of civilian GPS. When it measures the total distance travelled it includes the distances between each of these erroneous points as if I had hiked them. This artificially inflates the reported distance travelled. When moving, this effect is minimized and does not add significantly to the measured distance. Normally I would simply edit the track to remove the “squiggly” parts (from when I stopped) and the result is a fairly accurate representation not only of the route taken but also the distance hiked. However, when the reception is as poor as it was on this hike (as well as the Proxy Falls hike) the entire route is suspect and it becomes very difficult to determine which points to eliminate. As a result I am going to estimate maybe 4 miles as a more accurate total distance for this hike.
I didn’t take any pictures worth sharing on the way into the lake. The hike was fairly easy and unremarkable. The water level of the lake had dropped noticeably from what the maps project, as it was late in the season for this area. Nevertheless it is a nice lake. This next picture was taken from the area of the end of the trail, so it is looking back toward the trailhead, more or less:
There is a well established campsite area at the end of the trail with a number of stone fire rings. The area is over-used compared to the places I usually hike. I suspect that the easy hike in makes this place popular with the less environmentally-concerned crowd:
This creek runs through the over-used camping area:
There wasn’t a lot to get excited about. If I wanted a destination camp likely to have a lot of other campers (or if I wanted an easy place to take a good sized party of campers) this would be a fine place to camp. There was some nice old-growth, including this large downed log:
We then backtracked to the west end of the lake and bushwhacked out onto the peninsula there. It wouldn’t be a good place to camp, but it was fun to explore:
Even though it wasn’t terribly spectacular, it did have the kind of environment we enjoy visiting out here – including rocks, moss, and trees:
The hike out was as easy as the hike in:
Here is my KMZ file with our route on this trail. Please feel free to download the file and view it in Google Earth.