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sawmill lake as a quick weekend.. worth it?

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Re: sawmill lake as a quick weekend.. worth it?

Postby coff20 » Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:26 pm

I was up there last summer for two nights. I had the same sort of trip idea as you except with an extra day in the middle to go up and look at the pass and then head out on the third day. There's definitely some nice campsites if you look around. I found the fishing to be decent on flies, spinners, and spoons. I didn't catch anything huge, but there were definitely a fair number in the 12-15" range. I caught mostly rainbows, but just as giantbrookie mentioned, I caught one brown as well.

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Re: sawmill lake as a quick weekend.. worth it?

Postby KathyW » Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:27 pm

The sun hits the lower part of the trail early in the morning, but late in the day the lower part of the trail is in the shade. As you suggested, an early start is really important on a warm day. The other option (the one I think I'd do if I ever go up that trail again) is to start out late in the day as it starts to cool down and trek up the trail a few hours before finding a place to sleep for the night to try to hike up that lower sandy section when it is shaded. I'm not sure what time the part of the trail goes into the shade because it's been pretty late the couple times I came down it. Once I reached the trailhead just as it got dark and I was in the shade for a few hours. The other time I got out about 11 pm; so I was in the dark for a while (it was 88 degrees at the trailhead at 11pm that time); so coming out in the dark was on purpose to avoid the heat.

It's a long haul to Sawmill Lake. I have to say that I probably would not go up the Sawmill Pass Trail just to go to Sawmill Lake, but it does make a nice place to camp when you are passing it on your way to or from Sawmill Pass.
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Re: sawmill lake as a quick weekend.. worth it?

Postby jenreyn » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:20 pm

I was just up there two and a half weeks ago. We got up to Sawmill Meadow before the boyfriend called mutiny......he had enough uphill at that moment :) There was no snow up to that point and it looked like where Mule Lake was up canyon there was snow. I'd say there may be patchy snow up at Sawmill still. Either way the trail was in good condition and not too sandy yet. Kathy is right about the heat and the exposed lower part. Start real early or use an umbrella for shade. Its real hot early with its east exposure. We did see this on our way up the trail:
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Re: sawmill lake as a quick weekend.. worth it?

Postby jenreyn » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:24 pm

Also to note, there was no water in Sawmill meadow. If you do go the only place for water before you get higher will be in the creek drainage before hiking up the hogsback. From there it may not be until up by Mule Lake or higher.
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