Distance (round-trip): 6.3 mi.
Elevation Gain: 1,168' net elevation gain (1,294' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Lake Helene is an accessible 3 or 4 season family hike with moderate grades and good trail conditions.
The trail rises quickly over Bear Lake to the Odessa Lake - Mill Creek Basin split. Follow signs to Odessa Lake then continue to the Flattop Mountain Trail split. Once out of the forest, you will come across a steep-sided, short scree field. It helps to have poles or traction if there is snow on this portion of the trail. Continue to the Sourdough Campsite. The trail crests and drops to several unmarked spur trails (which are fairly easy to miss) on your left for Lake Helene. The lake is partially concealed from the trail. Before arriving at the northeast shore of Lake Helene, you will go through the dense, stunted tree growth of krummholz at treeline.
If you begin going downhill on the trail and make a sharp hairpin turn north, you have missed the spur trails to Lake Helene.