Wanting to beat the forecast valley heat, but not wanting to stray too far away from home, my mom, dad, Laura and myself decided to give Blue Canyon Lake another shot after first hiking the area in 2005. We thought we knew what we were getting into with the steep, short, high elevation trail leading to a glacial cirque that has spots of loose tread. It turns out that we grossly underestimated the beauty of the wildflower bloom. The proliferation of flowers contrasted against diffused 70% cloudy skies made for a day to remember. The perfume of the various mints, lupine and wild onions on top of the view and high elevation made for sensory overload. The only downer on the hike was a huge, fat spec of dust on my camera’s sensor that I have photoshopped out of most photos.
As far as the geology in the area, here’s the brief version: Granites intrude 80+ million years ago. Surface weathering exposes rocks by 11 million years ago. Little Walker caldera spews huge amounts of ash, mudflows 10ma recovering exposed granites. Glaciation over the past million years re-exposed the granites and carved out common glacial erosional features in remaining lava flows on high peaks.
Enjoy the photo journal of one of the best, prettiest hikes in the Emigrant Wilderness.