Smith and Greys (almost) Lakes, NV (2021)

    This was a nightmare and pretty much a fail, although I'm not going to mark it that way. I have done Greys Peak before and it was pretty interesting. Almost all of it was off-trail so I was expecting it to be tough going. This hike was from the same starting point but not going up the mountain, but around it to Smith Lake and then to Greys Lake and back again.

   The hike started out ok and the trail is pretty good up to Smith Lake. From there there is no trail so I made my way as best as I could until I found where the real trail was further down below. After going way down you go way up again over the side of a mountain, back down and up again and then down to Greys Lake. The bad thing about all that is that on the way back you are going up and down as well, and being tired and having to go uphill is not very fun. I was not able to make it to Greys Lake though because the trail disappeared in like 7 places on the way and there was high brush and trees that literally made it nearly impossible to go forward off-trail. The pictures don't really show it, but it was the hardest going that I have done to date off-trail. I actually think I got fairly close to getting to the other side before a climb out of that section and up and over to the lake, but by the time I turned around I was very tired and had spent several hours trying to find a trail and then get around the thick brush and tress to get to the other side.

   Even on the way back I was able to follow the 'real' trail until I got lost on that one and ended up in the same situation, and so I decided to go straight up to Smith Lake where I knew for sure there was a trail and finally made it back down to the car.

   I did see on alltrails that many other people got stuck around the same place I did, so it is not an easy hike or an easy to follow trail. I will try it later this year when hopefully some brush has cleared or moved back and maybe a trail will be seen better. I also now know about the real trail and will skip Smith Lake all together and go right for Greys which should make the hike a little easier.