The ride to Emerald Lake is pretty awesome. The trail is this thing called a “time-share”. Each day there’s a different mix of user-types allowed on the trail. The day that I rode I saw dirtbikes, hikers, dogs and mtb’ers.
The ride up is more mild than wild, but it becomes bit of a slog when you reach the switchbacks on the climb. It’s high-altitude climbing and a pretty steep uphill pitch. You are finally rewarded with a pretty fast entrance into the alpine zone just as the climb levels out. I was jazzed to see a bunch of plants I know from the Yukon up there, including a pile of Lupins!
The dirtbikes are a curse and a blessing. A lot of hiker trails are wide (no exception here) and they can also tend to turn into staircases with a lot of ledges and holes. The dirtbikes have this trail smoothed into a beautiful, smooth-rolling ribbon. The only down side is the slight chunder-y mess in the corners, nothing too bad to report.
The views at the lake are spectacular, it’s a really great valley. The lake is a popular destination and there were plenty of dogs playing up there.
Coming down, it was hard to reel in the speed enough. This trail has very short sight-lines! Lots of little playful lines keep tempting you to open it up (it’s the only way to flow through), but I found I was getting nervous about surprising someone around a corner, and sure enough I did, slightly (a couple of other mtb’ers). They gave me big smiles and thumbs up and went back to chugging oxygen.
Total Time: 01:48:42