There are four well-marked sections to the Lakeshore Trail that loops around Fish Lake. The first section is the easiest and begins just a little north of the Doctor Creek campsite, where you'll also find free parking, picnic tables, bathrooms, and potable water. A $15 fee is charged for overnight camping at the site.
The first two sections of the trail are the easiest, while the third and fourth are more difficult, with rapid elevation gains. Depending on how fit you and Fido are feeling, you may want to opt just to walk the 5.5 miles of the first two sections of the trail and back. Whether you do that or hike the entire 17-mile loop, you're in for quite a treat at this unique place.
From the trail, you can see one of the world's largest and oldest living organisms. Pando, The Trembling Giant, is a massive 107-acre grove of 47,000 quaking aspen trees that all share the same root system. This family of trees is over 80,000 years old. This awe-inspiring forest is threatened, but aggressive efforts are underway to protect it. Respect the areas where the trees are fenced off and keep your dog on a leash. As you listen to the wind whispering through thousands of leaves, you'll know you're in a sacred place.
The rest of the trail is just as breathtaking as Pando. You always have the mountain lake in sight, and as the trail climbs in altitude, your views become more expansive. Wildflowers emerge in the spring and raspberries grow around the lake in the summer. Fall colors are absolutely majestic here. In places, trees grow all the way up to the shore of the lake, which reflects the clouds that pass overhead. This is a great spot for birdwatching, and the species of wildlife that call Fish Lake home include elk, osprey, black bears, moose, and mountain lions. True to its name, the lake is also a popular fishing site.
Whether you come in the fall to witness the golden leaves of Pando, which the U.S. Postal Service named as one of the "40 Wonders of America," or come in the spring to see the wild animals and flowers, you won't leave here without feeling like you've witnessed something magical that will stay with you forever.