Got the idea to do this loop from Van Marmot’s blog post. The loop starts at Lost Creek way trail in the Sky lakes Wilderness. This trail isn’t listed on most maps or the Forest services site. It’s a very nice trail though. It’s maintained by hunters from what I understand. It’s one of the shortest ways into Sky Lakes Wilderness. If your destination is Island Lake it’s an excellent choice. The trail head is located on road 3659. This road is off road 3651, the road to Cold Springs Trail Head. There’s a small area to park at the trail head with room for a few cars.
The loop uses Lost Creek Way trail, Red Lakes trail and the PCT. The loop is approximately 9 miles with 780ft gain if done clockwise. I really enjoyed this hike. The area has several lakes and is heavily forested. The main attractions are Island Lake and Red Lake. You pass Center Lake also but at the time I hiked it Center Lake was just a meadow. Just hiking out to Island Lake and back would make a nice short easy day hike for sure.
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