We hiked up St. Mary's Mountain to McCalla Lake earlier this week while our son got in a little of his early season, backcountry skiing on the snowy slopes behind us.
Although we started out hiking on bare ground, we had snow underfoot for much of the way up. Shortly after passing the wilderness boundary sign on the summit trail we found the unmarked trail split. Much of the non-maintained trail to the lake was hidden with unbroken snow and was unrecognizable to follow, so we put on our gaiters and found our own way down through the snow, rock, and trees.
We arrived at McCalla Lake and had an enjoyable time hanging out for awhile. The lake was frozen over with exception of the perimeter and the two inlet areas, and the terrain around the lake was a mix of patchy snow and bare ground.
We paused to take in the awesome view before our eyes as we reached the wilderness boundary shortly before getting to the trail split for our descent to the lake.
Because this hike was another one of our unplanned-spur-of-the-moment trips, we got a late start and didn't get back out until dark. But it was another great time in the mountains! :)