The trip into Harrison Lake is perfect for a first time hiker or even for a family. It is kid-friendly 2.5 miles one direction. The trip is worth the effort. The elevation gain is nominal and climbs gently to the lake for about 1500’ before offering first rate views of the crest and Mt. Harrison to the north. If you are up for a cool dip Harrison has plenty of jumping off points.
Landon Otis and his family (Danielle, Emily, and Gabe) made the trek with Cathy Schuller and Don Otis. Although a bit of a push for 5-year-old Gabe, he managed it with a little help. Emily (7) needed no help. The trail wound up past no less than a dozen streamlets. The huckleberries should be ripe along the trail by August so if you plan to go, expect some good picking along the route. This is also a great hike for dogs as it is gentle and affords plenty of good water along the way. The one downside is that it is 20 miles from the turnoff in Highway 95. Go all the way to the end and find plenty of parking – if not in the first lot, go a bit further.
For those more inclined to climb Harrison, there are two ways to do this. Either take the cut off trail a half mile below the lake and go north or continue on to the lake and catch the ridge at the north end of the lake. The goal is to reach the expansive boulder field below Harrison’s distinctive hook and continue on to easier access on the northeast side – a bit of a scramble but well worth it.