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Lake Fork Basin

The Lake Fork River is a modest sized river that will run parallel to the trail through the Lake Fork Basin. This river has many small tributaries running into it making water readily available for most of this section. However, you'll want to fill up your bottles before getting too close to Red Knob Pass. About the point you reach timberline the options for water near the trail will end, especially on dry years. 

Lake Fork Basin is also a sheep grazing allotment. Sheep tend to be in the upper portion of the basin which makes it less appealing for camping. It also complicates the water situation, depending on how much you enjoy sharing water sources with livestock. We would suggest staging before or after this basin to have a little less company.

One of the hidden gems in this drainage is Crater Lake. It sits below Explorer Peak on the west side of the valley. There is not a developed trail that will take you directly to the lake. If you want to visit the lake, head west from the Highline Trail as you near timberline. The lake sits between the two tall peaks that surround the lake on three sides. As you approach the lake you will begin to encounter more and more rock. A southern approach to the lake is easier than coming from the north or east. The views from this lake are spectacular - something that you would expect to see at Glacier or Banff. 

Camping Potential - 4
Water Availability - 3
Difficulty - 3
Scenery - 4