I had been eyeing this hike for months, and a couple weeks ago finally had the chance to do it. The Barclay Lake Trail is about a 4 mile out-and-back trail with minimal elevation gain. The lake itself sits at the base of Baring Mountain’s rocky face, a steep mountainside sure to awe. The trailhead begins right at the edge of a parking lot easily found using Google maps. Beware the final four miles of the drive are on unpaved, potholed, rocky roads.
The trail runs through the woods along Barclay Creek in a valley between Gunn and Merchant Peaks. Make sure to look up from the ground while walking and you’ll see these mountains peeking out (or rising out) from behind the trees. Although there is only 200 feet of elevation gain, the path gently rolls up and down.
My brother and I did this hike when the smoke from the fires was pretty intense, so Baring Mountain’s sharp edges were not visible. It was still a stunning hike, especially for how easy and short it was, and we would both highly recommend it.