Originally Posted by danattherock
I just want a safe, well planned out, logistically solid trip. A 5-6 night trip with scenic camp sites, a small fire each night, solitude, mountain scenery, and some decent places to bend our 4 wts is of great interest.
For a mix of accessibility, camping, scenery, and cutthroat fishing, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better area than the North Fork and Victor Lake area (Boulder Lake TH). It's a moderate hike of about 12-13 miles to North Fork. Both lakes have ideal camping conditions and lots of fuel for fires. Basecamp at either NF or Victor (I recommend Victor for its scenery) and then you have tons of options for day hikes to some great, little cutthroat lakes: Lake Prue, the Pipestone Lakes, the unnamed lakes in Europe Canyon, and the unnamed lakes up towards Hay Pass. These waters don't contain any trophies, but the cuttys are numerous and very easy to catch. And of course, North Fork and Victor are loaded with cutts as well. You won't be entirely alone as both NF and Victor receive traffic from outfitters, but the area is so vast it's easy to find some solitude. Bring your frying pan or fish grill, because you'll be feasting on foot long Yellowstone cutthroats.
Hiking out of Boulder Lake TH is a little rough because it's one of the lowest trailheads in the range and is not very scenic because of a huge forest fire for the first 10 miles or so. But that keeps the crowds at bay, and I like that. When I visited Victor Lake, I was able to do the 14 mile hike in one day, but a perfect place to cut the hike in half would be to camp at either Lake Ethel (6 miles in) or Christina Lake (8 miles in). Never fished either lake, but both places have good camping.
I was planning on hitting the Winds next week, but haven't decided on where I was headed.........after talking about Lake Victor, I may have just decided!!
Incredible Lake Victor: