"Jake Smith Peak" as we reach an avalanche area on our approach trail.
I suggested Three Lakes Ridge to Matt (and Becky). Matt proposed an alternative route where (and I quote) "We could bike much further south on the dirt road, then head up a ATV track to the southern of the rainy lakes (not rainy ridge lakes). Then it's an easy walk up that road to the lake and onto the the ridge." When I asked about the trail he said he could see it on satellite. So off we went.
The proposed ATV trail is split in two where it joins the West Castle River trail/road. We biked right past the first (northern) part thinking it looked overgrown and we'd try the second (southern) part. Which was overgrown. So bad we were bashing alders at an impossibly slow pace. After much stubbornness (on my part), Matt proposed we look at what the bush was like along the river. We went down. I proposed it sucked and we go look at the other trail. We found it and it was easy... in comparison. It had a (and I'm quoting myself now) "normal amount of alders". So off we went. Going at an appropriate pace, and just getting some alders in the face and arms. I still can't in good faith recommend this route though...
The trail reached a little headwall before this area where it sort of disappeared. After following some elk tracks we found it again at a creek crossing, went over some trees and then it was easy hiking to treeline.