Heart Lake

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Trail Stats & Info

RT length 9 miles
Elevation gain 2,055 feet
Difficulty moderate
Lowest elevation 9,260 feet
Highest elevation 11,315 feet
Trail type out & back
Trails Illustrated Map™ # 103
Restrooms @ TH? yes
Heart Lake

Directions


From Denver, take I-70 or C-470 to Hwy 93 to Golden. Follow Hwy 93 to Golden Gate Canyon Road and turn left onto Golden Gate Canyon Road. Follow Golden Gate Canyon Rd. all the way to CO 119. Turn right onto CO 119 to Rollinsville. In Rollinsville, take a left onto Tolland Road, which is a dirt road. Follow Tolland Rd. which is also E. Portal Rd. for 7.5 miles to the East Portal of Moffat Tunnel. Parking is at the end of the road at Moffat Tunnel on the left. Trailhead is towards the right or northwest of the parking lot.

From Boulder, take CO 119 or Boulder Canyon Road West to Nederland. Follow CO 119 past Nederland which is also Peak to Peak Hwy. Follow this road just past Rollinsville and take a right onto Tolland Road. Follow Tolland Rd. which is also E. Portal Rd. for 7.5 miles to the East Portal of Moffat Tunnel. Parking is at the end of the road at Moffat Tunnel on the left. Trailhead is towards the right or northwest of the parking lot.

From Idaho Springs, take I-70 West and take exit 243, Central City Parkway. Follow Central City Parkway all the way to CO 119. Take a left onto CO 119 and follow this road all they way to Rollinsville. At Rollinsville, take a left onto Tolland Road, which is a dirt road. Follow Tolland Rd. which is also E. Portal Rd. for 7.5 miles to the East Portal of Moffat Tunnel. Parking is at the end of the road at Moffat Tunnel on the left. Trailhead is towards the right or northwest of the parking lot.



Photos

Description

This is a great hike if you’re looking for amazing views of the Continental Divide and alpine lakes above treeline. The trail starts by Moffat Tunnel, which runs through the Continental Divide and ends at the West Portal by Winter Park ski resort. A good portion of the hike follows South Boulder Creek which makes for a pretty wet/moist trail, especially during the spring when the snow is melting. The trail had several wooden bridges to help prevent wet feet, but there are some areas where we were hiking in water or mud. Just below treeline, there are several small alpine lakes that you can do a side trip to if you want. First, you’ll come up to Small Lake if you veer north from the trail. If you stay on the trail, the other lake you will see is a small drainage lake from Rogers Pass Lake. If you keep hiking up, then you’ll see Rogers Pass Lake. Here the view opens up and you can see awesome views of the Continental Divide and James Peak just south of the lake. Keep hiking, passing Rogers Pass Lake and after hiking up a small hill, you’re finally at Heart Lake, which is much bigger than the lower lakes. From here you can continue up the trail to Rogers Pass and over the Continental Divide. We hiked to Heart Lake and took some quick photos as it was very windy the day we hiked it. We headed back down to the trees for some coverage and to block the wind. Here we ate our snack and enjoyed the smaller lakes.

The East Portal trailhead is the starting point for many other trails in the James Peak Wilderness.

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About Jake & Mar

Jake and Maria have spent a good chunk of their time hiking and exploring all that the Colorado wilderness has to offer. Their ambition is to seek out all the hidden treasures of the Rocky Mountains from pristine alpine lakes, to tall dense Aspen forests, to high mountain summits. They both bring their own unique talents and abilities to Findhikingtrails.com, whether it's the organizational skills and consistent ambition to take on new terrain, or the desire to creatively record and document the experience. They are truly passionate about their site and the outdoors. "We thank you for visiting Findhikingtrails.com and wish you safe and fun adventures!"