This relatively easy 7 mile trail is mostly composed of gravel/dirt Forest Service Road. It sees heavy traffic in the summer time do to some great hikes in the area. Yellow Aster Butte and Winchester Mountain are two very popular day hiking trails. Winchester Mountain also has an unmanned lookout that can be used as a shelter (first come, first served). Anyways, the lakes themselves are typically accessible by vehicle mid to late July but can really depend on winter’s snowfall and early summer weather. There are designated camping spots around the lake that require a NW Forest Service pass.
This is one of my favorite spots to go mid week or early on a weekend with some buddies to hang out for a couple of hours prior to heading off to explore other areas. It recent years it has become a very popular spot and can become crowded quickly.
For the last few years I have enjoyed being one of the very first people up to the lakes for the year. Clearing this road has required some work at times but in the end, the views are well worth it.
I would recommend at least an AWD or 4×4 to get to the lakes. The last section is a series of tight switch backs and loose rocks and dirt. I have seen some vehicles up there that have left me scratching my head but I do not recommend it. What goes up, must come down, as they say.