LaBarque Creek Conservation Area off Doc Sargent Road now has a well-marked, three-mile "primitive" "moderate to difficult" loop trail. That's putting it mildly. Be prepared for lots of uphill, carry a hiking staff, and bring water because the loop will take two solid hours. But halfway along the trail, high up, is this marvelous secret glade, and being there was worth all the slogging and sweat.
What's a glade? It's a rocky clearing or "outcropping" you'll find up in hills or mountains, home to spring wildflowers and water features like this basin. Because there's mostly rock and little soil, few trees grow in glades, so it's open to sunlight, and I even found a few prickly-pear cacti. A lake up in the mountains always seemed impossible to me, but this little one in the conservation area is a scale model of how it's done. The water runs from here into a pretty little LaBarque Creek tributary, arched over with trees, that forms one border of the conservation area.