The Putvin Trailhead #833 is located 12 miles up the Hamma Hamma River Road (Forest Road 25), past the Lena Lake parking area and after you travel ~5 miles on unpaved road. Be on the look for a turnout for parking on the left and the trailhead on the right. The first part of the trail is moderate, so enjoy it. You will reach an old road and see a new trailhead sign stating you have 2 miles to go. From here, the trail climbs aggressively ALL the way up to the lake. A true thigh burner and you will be drenched in sweat. Difficult hike up, with some extra steep areas and scrambling needed, but very achievable for those who love a challenge and are in better shape. There are a few tips to keep in mind so you don't stray from the trail: 1) after you complete scrambling up what some refer to as the "Headwall," look for a small rock cairn to the left. 2) after you pass the first pond, TURN LEFT. You will see cairns, a flag on a stick and a make-shift log foot bridge. Cross this and then TURN RIGHT - you will see a small flag on a tree. You may cross other areas in the meadows and on the trail that you need to pay attention, but just look for the most prominent path and cairns. The beauty of this hike is mesmerizing. And the setting for Lake of the Angels is gorgeous! I will say that the lake itself didn't quite live up to my expectations, but it's still a pretty alpine lake. Saw 3 grouse on the hike up, frogs and tadpoles in the many ponds along the way, 3-5" fish rising in the lake...and the highlight of the trip: mountain goats!! I had the pleasure of watching a family of 3 (saw 8 total) up-close. Bugs weren't too bad, all things considered. Horse flies, deer flies and some mosquitos were definitely present at the lake, so apply bug spray. Bugs intensify the closer you are to the goats. No Dogs allowed by the way.
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