Useful hike, because I learned that the road from the freeway to McClellan Butte parking lot (Exit 42 on I-90E) is now open.
I parked at the 2nd Exit 38 parking lot, crossed the road and went up the Hall Creek Connector trail to the Iron Horse Trail (IHT). From there I went east to the McLellan Butte trail and down that trail to the trail head and down the road to the freeway.
Last couple of trip reports showed the road closed due to blow downs, but it is now open.
11.5 miles, saw maybe 4 people the whole time, just over 4 hours round-trip.
Solo, I finally made it to Central Peak. We were on the right track (see GPS at end) but just didn’t push on far enough. I took the trail to Central Peak and then, just to see how it was, took the road back down.
You can see that about 1.5 miles from the trail head the trail splits. We took the Greg Ball Trail and went to the lake. This trail was almost empty. But the falls are magnificent and the hike is fairly easy, so there are hundreds of people on the trail. A nice hike to try on a rainy week day.
Just over 8 miles, 2K elevation gain, 3.5 hours, a good workout to a beautiful sub-alpine lake.