Memorial Lakes Approx 18km Elev 650m
I have only done this trail once before and that was 10 years ago (before the 2013 floods). The trail head is the same one for Ribbon Falls and as usual I saw the offshoot on our way back a couple of weeks ago and immediately wanted to see what was happening up there.
The branch to the right at 4k is easy to spot, I believe this part of the main trail used to be much lower down.
The flood wiped out a lot of the right (north) bank, at one point there was a rope tied in to help you cross the landslides. Recently two new bridges have been installed and the trail is redirected to follow the left bank, avoiding that section completely.
Looking back at the first new bridge.
It's very pleasant and mossy underfoot on the brand new trail, then you cross back on the second new bridge (it's in there somewhere) to the original route. We are following the North Fork of Ribbon Creek.
Fairy Slipper Orchids all along the trailside.
There are overgrown and rooty sections, some quite steep but I thought it was easy going overall. The waterfall at 7k is a huge highlight. This also marked the spot where the clouds started to move in.
There are various lovely and precarious viewpoints as you climb up the side of the gorge.
It's raining. The mountains here are making their own weather. We are at the first Memorial Lake with the headwall to lake 3 visible across the water. It's still looking quite snowy high up.
We had an almost snow free trip to the second lake - this one is also known as The Emerald. Yes it's raining again, yes it's cold.
Sadly there was still deep snow on the ascent to the third lake - it was slidey and had the consistency of a slushee so we called it done here. It was nice to see everything with its white coat on and some ice still on the lake surface. Always beautiful, always different.
I have yet to conquer the third lake, yes this annoys me but I will do it! Eventually.
You can read the back story on why these 3 gems were named Memorial Lakes here.