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Chocolate Lakes Loop

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Chocolate Lakes Loop

Postby mattzigg » Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:56 am

Hello, I'm looking for some suggestions on the Chocolate Lakes Loop. I'm not new to camping and fishing, but I am relatively new to backpacking and navigation. I want to take my 17 year old son on an overnight backpacking and fishing trip and I'm thinking about the Chocolate Lakes Loop. I saw an earlier post that the trail is difficult to find/navigate around the Ruwau Lake-Chocolate Lake area. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice? Is the trail really difficult to locate? Both my son and I are in decent shape and have good common sense, but those are usually a lost hikers last words. I would hate to make his first backpacking trip a bad experience.



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Re: Chocolate Lakes Loop

Postby maverick » Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:31 pm

Hi Matt,

Welcome to HST! Why not take him on a very easy trip with great scenery, and fishing.
This would be Little Lakes Valley, also 20 Lakes Basin is very easy and offers all
the scenery and fishing you request. Just make sure you try introducing him to
the wild after the mosquitoes have died off!
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Chocolate Lakes Loop

Postby ExploreABitMore » Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:37 pm

I've done chocolate lakes loop a few times. The trail gets a little thin here and there, but I don't think it is terribly difficult to follow. Seemed like there were a couple sections where it would seem like you would lose it for a few, but just head for the next lake and next thing you know you're back on it again.

It's a nice loop, for sure.
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Re: Chocolate Lakes Loop

Postby John Dittli » Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:06 pm

You will loose the trail between Ruwau and Chocolate Lakes. Unfortunately the old, well graded trail became overgrown and now people head straight down the gully. You can see the lakes, but the route isn't obvious or very well "trailed".

It's not hard, but between those lakes, it's not really a "trail".

John
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Re: Chocolate Lakes Loop

Postby RiseToADry » Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:45 pm

This was my first backpacking trip ever! It really put the hook in my lip. I strongly recommend it. Great fishing at Ruwua for some decent sized fish and all of the chocolate lakes are a cookie cutter Brooke every cast - doesn't matter what fly or lure. I have gone up there every year since and done the loop as a day hike because I love those lakes so much.

There is a trail all the way around and if you have a map you'll be fine. It does get a little steep in 3 parts: going up from Long to Ruwua, the chocolate lakes side of the col, and between bull and the first chocolate but nothing too crazy. Follow the cairns to navigate Ruwua to chocolate. And I recommend hiking the loop this way because there is a sweet campsite on the north side of the lake next to the outlet up on a ledge.

Have fun and post a trip report please!
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Re: Chocolate Lakes Loop

Postby mattzigg » Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:33 am

Thank you everyone for your input! We are going to give it a try. Hopefully my son loves it as much as I do, and we can add a new tradition....

By the way, this is a great site for beginning back packers like me. Keep up the great work!
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Re: Chocolate Lakes Loop

Postby exodus » Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:59 am

Just to give you more encouragement - despite the trail being thin - I would find it very hard to get lost or not be able to navigate in this area. The lakes are very, very close together. From Bull to Chocolate #1 is .25 miles (or a 5 - 10 minute stroll), and from one Chocolate Lake to the next it's almost negligable - about .05 miles. Going over the saddle from Chocolate #3 to Ruwau is not too bad and only about .25 miles to the top. One of the easier cross-country things to do.

One recommendation is to download Google Earth if you haven't already and take a 'virtual hike' through the area so that some of the landmarks and landscape are more familiar to you. There's also a lot of photos to look at there as well. It won't look exactly like Google Earth when you get there, but, again, it helps to familiarize in the sense of "there's a peak there" " a lake there" etc.
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Re: Chocolate Lakes Loop

Postby scottawr » Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:36 pm

chocolate lake #2 has great fishing and by great I mean i caught a few smaller rainbows and I'm a terrible fisherman.

we went up and over the slide area last year it had a bunch of ducks marking a good path but it wasn't necessary the path was pretty easy.
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Re: Chocolate Lakes Loop

Postby richlong8 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 12:51 pm

mattzigg wrote:Hello, I'm looking for some suggestions on the Chocolate Lakes Loop. I'm not new to camping and fishing, but I am relatively new to backpacking and navigation. I want to take my 17 year old son on an overnight backpacking and fishing trip and I'm thinking about the Chocolate Lakes Loop. I saw an earlier post that the trail is difficult to find/navigate around the Ruwau Lake-Chocolate Lake area. Does anyone have any suggestions or advice? Is the trail really difficult to locate? Both my son and I are in decent shape and have good common sense, but those are usually a lost hikers last words. I would hate to make his first backpacking trip a bad experience.


Here's a trip report that I made with my daughter to Bull Lake. You can also follow the trail from the inlet of Bull Lake up to Chocolate. Easy. If you come down from Ruwau instead, just don't get too far left, and it is obvious though the "trail" is sketchy. Nothing to it.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=5398&p=33683&hilit=+bull+lake#p33683
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