Bird watching Free activities Hikes

Fehr Lake Hike

(Last Updated On: August 25, 2020)

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.

Hike Info:

  • 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.

Don't be fooled by the sign. Fehr Lake is .5 miles,  but Shepard is really 1.5, the Hoover another bit after that.
Don’t be fooled by the sign. Fehr Lake is .5 miles, but Shepard is really 1.5, then Hoover another bit after that.

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.

Part of the trail is on boardwalks.
Part of the trail is on boardwalks.
Heading down the trail
The trail gets a little rocky in places, but it’s super short and simple.
We couldn't get enough of the wildflowers!
We couldn’t get enough of the wildflowers!

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.

Fehr Lake 2
Pretty quickly you will arrive at Fehr Lake.
IMG_5137

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.

The trail is beautiful!
The trail is beautiful!
Notice the jacket on August 1st.
Notice the jacket on August 1st.
Mommy Elk
Mommy Elk
Baby Elk...A mom would cross followed by a baby.
Baby Elk…A mom would cross followed by a baby.

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.

The lake was a beautiful place to rest and throw some rocks!
Fehr Lake was a beautiful place to rest and throw some rocks!

If you find yourself attempting this hike, make sure you check out the other family-friendly things to do along the Mirror Lake Highway.

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