This is a great hike up the aptly named Cascade Creek. If the water is just out of sight at times, the sound is never far away. At .4 mi. the trail crosses into Lee Metcalf Wilderness area and remains there for the rest of the hike. It is gradually but steadily uphill. The trail is very rocky, and there is lots of evidence of horses underfoot, so try to keep your eyes off of the gorgeous stream for at least part of the time. Shortly before the 2-mile mark, the trail levels, and even goes downhill a very short distance as a lovely field opens up to the left. You've gone 2 miles when you reach the rough bridge going over Cascade Creek. From here the trail switchbacks up another mile to Lava Lake, the only lake in the wilderness area that wasn't glacially carved (it was formed by a landslide). The trail here never seems to be any steeper than parts of the trail alongside the creek, but the land surrounding you certainly gets more dramatic. At the lake, Table Mountain and Jumbo Mountain rise up majestically behind this rather large body of water. You can add about 1.25 miles by circling the lake. There is no camping (and no horses) allowed within 1/4 mile of the lake, but there are lots of nice sites available nearby. If you were to continue up the trail from the lake you would eventually reach Table Mtn, but for this trail, the lake is the turnaround spot. The way back is a nice cool-down for the hike, but remember that most injuries occur going downhill and try to curb your speed a little.