For the first time I tried the trail which starts at the right fork at the stream. This trail cut about 1 hour off my usual time but it is not marked all the way and one must look fro footprints in moss to find it. It is very steep and not for beginners. We did not get lost however.
There is no snow to walk on at all on either trail.
There is no water after the stream which is maybe 10 minutes from the trailhead. Bring water, I did not have enough to hike in this heat. The view is grand.On the way down we took the usual path as the other is so steep it would be slippery. The old trail is in good shape and very obvious, being well trodden.
Watch for Kiewett trucks and equipment on the roads, they work weekends.
Back in July I drove up E 100 to the Knucklehead mountains above Alpha, Gamma Lakes. The road was thick with alders and scraped the vehicle. I have heard they brushed it up to the gravel pit but the rest is rough. This is too bad as I consider this the easiest mountain hike in the district and one of the prettiest. Still I drove to the trail head and had a great day. There is a circle route one can walk taking a right fork to hike uphill to the right of Beta Lake and go to the saddle. We went to the smaller Knuckle Peak as there was snow and ice there which makes the higher peak difficult. Then we came down on the diagonal cut above Beta Lake, on crapons. By now this should be all cleared of snow. The lake colour is beautiful.
Centre Lakes is another beautiful hike. The road has a couple of slides on it that are not drivable so that adds another 45 minutes or so. When there is no snow a nice circle walk is possible. Nice alpine country here too.
The road to Emma and trail are in good shape last time I went which was July.