After reading a local newspaper column about a nearby lake that I had never heard of before we decided to try to find it. This had the added benefit of driving up past Ruedi Reservoir which has to be some of the most beautiful fall scenery in the area.
Finding Carter Lake via the shortcut described in the newspaper article proved to be quite difficult so we ended up at Savage Lakes for lunch then took the marked path just before Savage Lakes to Carter Lake. This lake is truly beautiful and obviously very rarely visited. A true feeling of wilderness and also a clear understanding that one is very far from help should one need it.
From there we followed a very little used trail to a water diversion structure impressively built between cliff faces. On the way to the water diversion we passed a stunning waterfall. Once at the water diversion we must have somehow lost the main trail as the trail that we had been following ended abruptly. Getting back to the road from there was quite a bit dangerous and I was very glad to have my dog with me as she is a great trail finder but I was definitely concerned for our safety.
After a scary creek crossing we connected with a trail which led us back to the road. I do not recommend anyone try this. Next time I will start from that trail at the road end which is impossible to find unless you know where it is and difficult to find even when we came out of it! We will start from there and see how one is really supposed to get to the water diversion.
True wilderness has very real risks but it is so beautiful and unspoiled. I now have even more appreciation for the pioneers in this area.