It takes a little
less than an hour to hike to Gold Cord Lake from the parking
lot to Independence Mine Historic Park. If the road to the mine
is closed, it will take longer because the nearest parking is
near Hatcher Pass Lodge, about a mile further.
This hike includes
a steep stretch but spectacular scenery awaits you at the end
of the climb. (Or perhaps the mid-point of the climb for the
ultra-fit with good hiking boots who wish to go to the top of
the ridge.) However, Summer comes slow at 4,100 feet. We slogged
across areas of melting snow and running water as well as deep-packed
snow near the lake on June 24th. The lake was still mostly covered
with snow and ice.
From the top of the
trail to Gold Cord Lake there is a spectacular panoramic view
of the Independence Valley.