1. Bowman Lake
Length: 13.6 miles round-trip
Elevation gain: 920 feet
Trailhead: Bowman Lake Campground, near the boat launch.
Bowman Lake is the showpiece of the lightly travelled North Fork area in the northeast corner of the park. The scene from the foot of the lake is a classic: shores of wave-smoothed red argillite stones frame a plethora of peaks in the northern section of the park. Most visitors enjoy the view from the day-use area at the foot of the lake. But the 14-mile hike to the head of the lake—nearly level, never far from shore—puts on a nonstop show. Although the hike is popular with tent-campers and picnickers, few make it to the head of the lake and its backcountry campground. Although gaining in popularity, the North Fork is still relatively quiet, a long unpaved drive on the North Fork Road steering many visitors away; odds are, should you make it more than a mile or two from the trailhead, you’ll have the shoreline to yourself.