Lake Valhalla – Smithbrook Hike Report – September 8, 2021

Our hike to Lake Valhalla provided outstanding views and opportunities to sample huckleberries and alpine blueberries along the way. There were streaks of color from fall foliage throughout the hike. It was evident that summer is coming to an end and autumn is on its way. The bold and brilliant berries on the Mountain Ash were absolutely breathtaking!

We had a total of eight hikers: Cam Bradley, Ida Callahan, Clarence Elstad, Gerlinde Gruber, Joanie Pryor, Izzy Miraco, Ron Riter, and hike leader, Kendra Wanzenried.

When we started at 9:30 AM, the temperature was around 60 degrees. By the time we returned to our cars, it was in the mid 70’s – a perfect day for hiking.

The elevation gain is steady but the trail is well-designed and maintained.  After the junction with the PCT, it’s a steady uphill climb through subalpine forests to the lake. 

We met PCT thru-hikers as they headed north to end their journey at the Canadian Border. They all were very friendly and did not show any signs of fatigue…an amazing feat for sure!

The lake has a nice sandy beach with logs which was a perfect place for our lunch, good conversations and relaxation. It’s a very peaceful area surrounded by beautiful mountains. There were folks enjoying a brisk swim in the lake however; none in our group took the plunge! It was a very successful day with all of us making it to Lake Valhalla and safely back to our cars.