Great fall outing to Rachel Lake, Rampart Ridge, and Alta Mountain. Started early at 7am with frost dusting beautiful fall vine maple leaves. It was a crisp day with full sun. The Rampart Lakes is a beautiful area to explore. We scrambled up to the ridge, then set our sights for Alta in the distance. The hills were ablaze in a crimson carpet, one of the most beautiful and colorful areas in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness for fall foliage.
The ridge up Alta boasts beautiful views in all directions. Once upon the summit, the 360-degree views popped. As we descended the Alta Mountain summit, the sun was setting, casting a beautiful, rose alpenglow on HiBox Mountain (one of my favorite scrambles), capping the end of a magical day with spectacular views. Darkness set in as we reached Rachel Lake, and we hiked the remainder of the trail in the dark.
We had the mountains to ourselves most of the day. I am not a fan of repeat hikes, but Rachel Lake and these two hikes merit multiple visits.
Total State: 14.75 miles, 4500 feet gain, 11:80 total hours, 10 hours moving time.