The first part of the hike is very easy (flat, wide trail), then after a couple of miles or so it goes up pretty steeply (there are switchbacks). Next you have “the boulder scramble”. It is a filled with healthy sized boulders that you have to navigate. Not too hard, but not recommended for dogs or kids. Then, after a brief period of flatness, it climbs once more and you see Lower Reed Lake for the first time. There are more campsites here than Upper Reed Lake, but if you’re feeling motivated, it’s worth the climb.
There are lots of crazy marmots running around!
Once you reach Upper Reed Lake there is only one place that we found that is suitable for a tent. Follow the shoreline to see what I mean.
Saw a lady coming back down with her dog from the boulder scramble. The dog couldn’t make it through.
Webmaster’s note: Archangel Road may be closed in the spring during breakup to keep the ruts in the road from getting worse. It’s usually opened back up the same day Independence Mine opens (June 20). Call (907) 745-3975 to confirm.