We couldn't find any mileage markers and didn't measure the trail ourselves. Our best guess for the distance is an approximate three miles one-way to the South end of the Bathtub. Although there are many hikes we attempt for the sheer challenge, this is not one of them. There are a few short heart-pounding up-hills, but overall we rate this hike as easy to moderate. The primary reasons for visiting the bathtub is simple wonder in the beauty of nature and the joy of exploration.
The trailhead is at the northwest corner of Edison Lake. If you're coming from the campgrounds, head towards to store but instead of turning left, turn right. If you're coming from the store, head north. In either case, follow the signs until you reach the parking lot at the trailhead.
The trailhead is located at the East end of the parking lot. There are no mileage markers or clear signs as you leave the parking lot. There is a small wooden sign that says "Trail" and points to the right. Make sure you ignore this sign and veer to the left. Look for two large boulders with a pass through the middle. The boulders mark the beginning of the trail to the Devil's Bathtub.
Our trail starts at a very easy incline. Near the beginning of the trailhead, we crossed a brook surrounded by a lot of high green ground cover. After the stream, the meadow feature continued. This is an extremely beautiful wonderland of nature. About 1/8 mile past the first crossing of Cold Creek, the trail splits off to the right and straight ahead are there are no signs identifying either direction. Our journey to the Bathtub leads to the right where we immediately cross Cold creek again at the far South end of one of the Twin Meadows.
In the late spring or early summary, this part of the trail is high with water and thick with mosquitoes. Therefore, if you plan to enjoy this hike while the snow is still keeping the water level high, make sure you bring plenty of bug juice to keep the skeeters at bay. Near the middle of our hike, we came across a trail sign, which also makes a good rest area. I love finding trail signs as I did with these. The only problem with these signs was that they had no mileage information.
Devil's Bathtub (Straight)
Edison Lake (Back)
Goodale Pass (Right)
The Goodale Pass trail follows Cold Creed and meanders through Upper and Lower Graveyard Meadows. Our trail to the Bathtub leads off to the left. A little while after we left the fork in the trail, we started to tackle the hill. At a point right before a short stint of switchbacks, there is a defunct wilderness marker about two feet west of the trail. All that was left of this marker was a metal pipe sticking out of the ground with the inscription of "EAT 1969." Two trees north along the trail and off to the right (east) we found a Douglas fir where someone carved a cross in its bark.
Upon final approach to the Bathtub, a cascade greeted us with a large moraine that regulated the flow of water out of the lake. The brook created by the formation provided enough sound to lull any weary backpacker to sleep. Be careful.
When we reached the southern edge of the Bathtub, we found no obvious trail leading in either direction (clock or counterclockwise) although we could see a good campground on the opposite side of the stream that runs out of the Tub. By pushing on slightly to the left (west), we came across a primitive trail that scrambles all around the lake.
The path quickly comes across a scattered group of campsites and then ends at a large slide of small to car-sized boulders. Thus began our boulder-hopping campaign, which lasted for about 300 yards. It was a great relief when we finally came across the trail again, which very closely hugged the Bathtub all the way to the north end. The northern part of the trail turned into a beautiful meadow and a thin sliver of magnificent sun-drenched sand.
Most of the water that runs into the Bathtub comes from the amphitheater like mountain that surrounds the Tub on all but the South Side. Since the highest part of the theater walls is on the North side, most of the water and comes from this area as well.
Use the standard Day Hike Checklist for this hike.
Everything I described above in the Trail Description was done in about 5 1/2 hours. Since it takes 3 hours to get to the trailhead, my suggestion is to camp at Vermilion Valley Campgrounds, which are the campgrounds at Edison Lake.
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