Trail Stats & Info
|RT length||7 miles|
|Elevation gain||1,990 feet|
|Lowest elevation||10,030 feet|
|Highest elevation||12,020 feet|
|Trail type||out & back|
|Trails Illustrated Map™ #||104|
|Restrooms @ TH?||Yes|
From Denver, take I-70 West. Take Exit 218. Turn right at the end of the off ramp, and then immediately another right onto the dirt road. Parking lot ahead.
Great area to snowshoe as it was sunny and there was very little wind. The start of the trail was pretty clear as other skiers/snowshoers had hiked the first mile or so, but after that there was no trail. I passed 2 other skiers/snowshoers and they had pointed the general direction of where the lake was. So, I kept snowshoeing within the gulch and did notice a very faint trail that was just recently covered with snow. I followed that trail as best as I could and it led me out of the gulch and up through some trees to just east of the lake. Coming out of treeline, the view of the continental divide was absolutely amazing! From treeline to the lake, I pretty much made my own trail. Luckily, I also had my GPS, so I kind of knew which direction the lake was as there was no trail. The lake still had a lot of snow so I couldn’t see any part of the lake, just a slight depression in the snow. All in all, a great hike for snowshoeing with spectacular views! I can’t wait till the snow melts to hike up this again to see all the wildflowers!
I did make it back up after all the snow melted and what an absolutely beautiful hike! I recommend getting to the trailhead early as the parking lot gets full. The wildflowers were blooming all over the place! There were FIELDS of Columbines and Indian Paintbrush. There were also other various wildflowers, which unfortunately I am unable to name. It was gorgeous! I don’t know how many times I stopped hiking to take photos of the flowers. I highly suggest this hike in July if you really want to see a ton of flowers, as it is very easy to drive to and is moderately strenuous. The first mile or so, is steeper, but after that the view opens up and you can see great views of the continental divide. The trail gradually climbs for a little bit, then once you get into the trees, it gets steeper. The trail levels out right as you get above treeline and just before you reach the lake. I had hit the tail end of a thunderstorm right as I got above treeline, so make sure you hike early. The lake is above treeline, so if you do get caught in a storm, there’s no cover up there. It took me approximately 3.5 hours to hike this trail and that includes taking a break and snacking at the lake. Enjoy!