Our family loves alpine hikes. Fehr Lake was not a disappointment as the trailhead is located at almost 10,000 feet up the Mirror Lake Highway. It has all the things that make high-country hikes amazing. There are towering pines and millions of wildflowers. There are granite cliffs and, of course, a peaceful lake.
- Distance: 1.0 mile roundtrip
- Rating: Easy
- Elevation Gain: 105 ft.
- Dog-friendly: Yes
- Fee: $6 day use fee for Mirror Lake Highway
The trailhead is a well-marked turnout past mile marker 30 on the Mirror Lake Highway. There is plenty of parking, but it’s pretty quiet, at least on weekdays. We saw only one other group of hikers along the trail.
The hike is around 0.5 mile down to the lake (1 mile round trip), and it is mostly downhill. Be prepared to climb back up the hill on the way back. It’s not strenuous, but it’s not flat either.
The lake is beautiful and still. We didn’t see any fishermen or signs of fishing. Of course, our boys undertook their favorite activity of throwing rocks. There are a lot of places to stand near the lake and look, (or throw rocks if you’re under 12). We decided to walk around the lake, and we found a path that had obviously been used before. It’s not a maintained trail, but you could see how to get around the lake.
Wildlife is also abundant on this hike. We saw a lot of birds including a pine grosbeak. On other sections of the highway, we saw a cedar waxwing and a red-naped sapsucker. There were four cow elk and three calves just down the road, too.
This hike goes out to two other lakes (Shepard & Hoover), but we didn’t go that far today. We did hike to these lakes on another trip, and it is actually 1.5 miles to Shepard Lake, and another 1/2 mile to Hoover. It is also quite a drop to the lake making the climb back out long and steep. Hiking to Fehr Lake is our recommendation for young families.
If you find yourself attempting this hike, make sure you check out the other family-friendly things to do along the Mirror Lake Highway.