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Nine of us started the hike at 9:20 am and soon encountered two young Germans who accompanied us all the way on the hike. We hiked to the end of the official trail and then decided to take one of the paths along the northeast side of the valley (i.e. the left side looking up the valley)to a treed bench land (headwall) just below the glacier. The trail was steep but had nice switchbacks and we arrived at the bench about an hour after leaving the main trail. After a very pleasant lunch admiring the stream, waterfalls and the glacier, we made our way back via the southwest path (right hand trail as viewed from the end of the official trail). We stopped to explore a small cave on the way and then made our way down to the main trail and back to the cars. Total time was 4h 30min with about a 30 min lunchbreak. Elevation gain was 585 meters and distance was 12.5 km. A great day with a great group of people and some new friends from Germany!
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