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Grass Lake Loop: A Great Early Season Mountain Run for Athletes Getting Back In Shape

Due to a myriad of pathetic excuses, I have not been running much the past few summers.  My running came to a crashing halt when I hurt my foot last fall.  It took a while for me to notice that my typical happy self had faded, and I had officially become an angry person.  It was an especially dark month last April, when the entire Eastside was exploding with wildflowers. The running and backcountry skiing were peaking, and I wasn’t getting any of it.  I finally had enough, and started running again, doing some of my favorite short loops, really short, and my mental heath skyrocketed.  Five mountain runs behind me, I actually recognize myself again.  This post is dedicated to those of you who need a kick in the pants and want to do some big mountain days this summer.  The Grass Lake Loop is a perfect place to start.  This three mile loop will get your heart rate up and your stoke on.

  • Distance: 3.1 Miles
  • Elevation Gain: 763 ft
  • Location: North Lake
  • Time of Year: Late May – Mid Oct (until first snow)
  • Directions from Bishop: 168 (West Line St.) through Aspendell; turn right on dirt road to North Lake; Parking is on far end of lake near pack station

Route Description:

The junction for the Grass Lake Trail. The junction for the Grass Lake Trail.

From the North Lake parking lot, go southeast on the road you drove in on.  At the junction, you will see a sign with arrows pointing west towards Piute Pass and Lamark Lakes Trail.  GO EAST – the opposite direction of the arrows.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is where you duck under the barbed wire and catch the trail to Grass Lake This is where you duck under the barbed wire and catch the trail to Grass Lake

The road immediately crosses a creek.  Just past the creek, you will see a sign of a person riding a horse.  At the sign, duck under the barbed wire fence and hop on an obvious trail heading south.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The creek crossing just before Grass Lake. The creek crossing just before Grass Lake.

The trail immediately gets steep, and most of the elevation gain is in the first mile.  After approximately 1.1 miles from the fence, the trail hits a creek.  Cross the creek here over a series of logs.  Grass Lake is just ahead in the distance.  Parallel Grass Lake for a half mile until you reach an obvious trail that takes you north. Continue north back to the North Lake campground and back to the parking lot.

Karen Schwartz psyched to be mountain running. Karen Schwartz psyched to be mountain running.
Julie Faber running with shop dog Wheeler next to Grass Lake. Julie Faber running with shop dog Wheeler next to Grass Lake.

 

Grass Lake Loop Map Grass Lake Loop Map

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