This day was certainly a gorgeous day for a hike in the high country, especially with temps in the city reaching the mid 90s. A short drive west on I-70 to exit 218 and an immediate right onto a dirt road is parking for the Herman Gulch Trailhead. This is a very popular trail to say the least. Mostly because it’s really easy to get to from Denver or anywhere in the metro area, and because of the numerous wildflowers that can be found along the way.
The hike up to Herman Lake I would say is moderate to strenuous, but well worth it. There were people of all shapes and sizes take this trail. It’s always great to see a variety of people out enjoying nature and maybe even stepping outside of their comfort zones. I will later post more pics from this hike, bare with me as I’m playing catch up. Enjoy!
Colorado state flower, the Columbine
Herman Lake 3.75 miles ahead
Lunch and rest on a gorgeous day
A look ahead
Continental Divide Trail signage
Looking back down the trail
Happy 4th of July America!
Instead of your normal celebratory activities for the 4th of July, it was decided to instead head up to the high country and hit the trails. The hike to Columbine Lake is 3 miles one way beginning at the Junco Lake trailhead at around 10040 feet, with a final elevation of 11060 at the lake. Columbine Lake sits beneath Mount Neva on the west side, on the opposite side of Lake Dorothy, which I hiked last summer from the Fourth of July trailhead.
This hike takes you through pine scented forests and across cascading creeks and along willow filled meadows with slim chances of spotting a moose, which has been a personal hope of mine for a while. Remains of an old log cabin sits just off the trail, and a second cabin a few feet away, creekside about 25 minutes into the start of the hike. Wildflowers are plentiful on this hike and the trail becomes steep but manageable in spots but the view of Columbine Lake is well worth the effort. Bring a camera, sunscreen and insect repellent as the mosquitos can be plentiful. Dogs are allowed on the trail
Here are a few photos from todays hike. I will add captions to them later. I hope you enjoy them.
It’s been just over a week since my first hike of the season to Bridal Veil Falls and the next hike was already planned later that same day. And it was settled on that Columbine Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness will be the next hike and is scheduled to happen in a couple of days on the 4th of July. I’m hoping it wont be too crowded since the holiday falls in the middle of the week, but you never know.