|The wild north end|
The high-altitude lake is open year-round, however, the north end is closed to all access annually from February 1st through August 1st to allow waterfowl and raptors to nest in peace. The hike begins with a quarter-mile walk on a dirt trail that emerges on the south shore dam. From here, primitive angler paths circle the lake.
In drier months, the water settles into a patchwork of glassy ponds, rivulets and swales of frog-populated Lady's Finger smartweed. The T-shaped lake is fringed with Ponderosa pines and dozens of creaking snags that provide cover and perches for ospreys, ravens, geese, and eagles.
Keep an eye out for Hummingbird moths sipping nectar from thistles and herds of elk charging through Frenchy Canyon at the northwest end of the wetlands. Although the hike is short and effortless, the scenic drive to the trailhead, proximity to longer routes and prodigious wildlife viewing opportunities make a visit to Scholz Lake worth a detour.