I absolutely loved hiking on this trail. it offers so many options a climb to at least 4-5 named peaks(Red mt.,Granite, Middle, Siligo,Gibson Peaks) 3 high passes, numerous lakes,amazing sunsets, lush meadows, abundant wildflowers and some pretty rare wildlife.
I got a late 5:30 start,thunderstorms in the area kept temps bearable ,on good duff tread. 3 miles up I spotted a cinnamon colored black bear turning rocks over along the trail ahead of me.I got within 20 yards of it and hollered at him and he promptly took off down the hill.I made Stonewall Pass right at sunset planning to camp at echo lake, but didn't quite make it. Hardly a flat spot large enough for a tent in Van Mitre meadow, either. We stopped at Echo Lake the next morning before crossing little Stonewall pass. This would have been an even more epic sunset amphitheater. Once this next pass is achieved, a slight level reprieve is reached through Siligo Meadows. The contrast of color in this area is stunning. Red and golden hues of perodite with the granite peaks of Gibson and Siligo, lush green meadows. Stoney Ridge Trail terminates at Deer Creek Pass which begins the Four Lakes Loop. The second night was spent at Summit Lake in much better accomidations and a climb to Siligo Peak. Time constraints sent us (myself and trusty German Wirehaired Pointer) back down the next day. It would have been nice to stay another day and hike the loop, climbing Siligo captures the same views. Heading back is not too bad, the roughest and steepest pass is definitely Stonewall. Start early or be tough it is exposed to west facing sun all day.On the way back we took a quick scramble up Red Mt. with views of the entire route that was overcome. I would give this trail 5 stars but I didn't catch any fish at Summit Lake. Don't expect to be alone in the peak season even in the middle of the week.