As elaborate as it may seem, the Stillwater Trail is a little deceiving as far as the difficulty of this hike is concerned. It’s not the elevation gain that will discourage the soul, but lots of rocks and many mud holes may dampen spirits. The trail does pick up some altitude. However, it is an effortless climb until the Kermsuh–Ryder junction. Then the trail proceeds up, up, and up.
Ryder and McPheters Lakes occupy Middle Basin; Mount Agassiz, Spread Eagle, and Hayden are the dominant surrounding peaks. Ryder sits at the foot of three connecting ridges characterized by wind and steep, rocky ledges. Beautiful meadows intersperse the pines, while trickles of water cascade off the cliffs, adding to the aesthetics.Access begins at the south end of Christmas Meadows Campground.
© 2016 Jeffrey Probst & Brad Probst, Revised by Brett Prettyman/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.