8:45 a.m. Only one other car in the parking lot. Aggressive mosquitoes motivated us to load the packs and start hiking quickly. The weather forecast was for rain in the afternoon so we had dressed warmly and carried rain gear. Beautiful river valley and gentle ascent to Trout Lake on a well maintained trail and a very new bridge across the West Fork of the Foss River. Thank you trail maintenance divas. Passed the largest tree I have ever seen in the Cascades.
Ascending up towards the waterfall, we ran into a little snow in patches and then suddenly a lot of snow. But with some careful route finding, we were very soon on the north side of Copper Lake where we enjoyed a pot of hot soup and bread before descending. Back at the car around 2:40 p.m. Just inside six hours.