The Crest Mtn trailhead is closer to Gold River so it takes about an hour to drive. The times that I've visited here, there aren't too many people; at least not during a weekday and not starting off early in the morning. Today, the parking area was empty.
I like hiking at the start of the trail because of the old growth forest. There is a creek which runs in the forest but dries up later on in the summer so I knew there was lots of water in the large tarn on the ridge and possibly lots of snow still. The trail passes by the creek then heads away and joins up with the same creek higher up. It takes about 1/2 hour to reach the log bridge over the same creek with a nice waterfall but a lot of fallen trees have obscured it but heading off in the light bush along the creek will give good views of the falls which is split in two.
There were a few mosquitoes and blackflies which took advantage of me when I stopped for a break; mostly to mix my carbohydrate/protein powder with water. I read a lot on sports nutrition and carbohydrate taken during exercise will prevent a decline in muscle glycogen reserves. Glycogen is a storage form of carbohydrate which fuels the muscles and gives sustained energy. It helps a lot on long hikes.
It took about 2.5 hours to reach the alpine tarn and I was surprised that there is little snow around however the ridge is exposed to the sun almost all day so it must have melted faster than normal.
King's Peak (left) and Elk River Valley straight ahead. Looks like a long way to hike to Landslide Lake.
The views of King's Peak and Elk River valley below are familiar views. Most people sit on the bedrock here admiring the views looking south but I like to walk back north a bit and sit near a grove of trees and a small pool of water trapped in the bedrock. There are good views of King's Peak and Big Den Mountain. One can also see Upper Campbell Lake in the far distance below where the highway runs.
Looking toward Big Den Mtn
The large alpine tarn on the ridge
A small alpine lake below Big Den Mtn.
Prominent King's Peak
Among a tangle of dead tree branches, Upper Campbell Lake is seen in the distance
Hiking back down is always tiring especially when my heavy pack straps was digging into my shoulders. It's not the best fitting pack but it is very sturdy and tough. I've put it through a lot of abuse but the pack shows no signs of wear.
I stopped by the creek in the forest to cool down. The ice cold water was quite refreshing. When I reached the parking lot I saw one other car parked there but hadn't seen anyone else on the trail. I had a very enjoyable day.