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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests > Clear Creek Ranger District

Quick Facts

Herman Gulch Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,400 Feet (3241.9 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1,600 Feet (498.8 Meters)
Elevation Gain: 1,100 Feet (342.9 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 12,000 Feet (3740.6 Meters) at Herman Lake
Length: 2.5 Miles (4.17 Kilometers)
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Gray's Peak; Loveland

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This trail begins west of the Bakersville I-70 exit and just east of the Loveland Ski Area. The first section of the trail climbs up an old jeep road through the forest. At about 1 1/2 miles it reaches timberline and climbs into alpine meadows where the wildflowers are abundant in late June and July. Above timberline, follow the rock cairns to Herman Lake. The trail follows a creek all the way up the gulch with numerous places to camp. The view of the gulch and surrounding peaks from the lake is spectacular. Pettingell Peak and Hagar Mountain can be climbed from the lake. Both peaks reach above 13,000 feet.

Directions from Idaho Springs, Georgetown: Take exit 218 off of I-70. At the stop sign turn right and then turn right again and take the frontage road east to the parking area. The trail begins by the restrooms in the parking lot.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: Summer through Fall (NOTE: Accessibility depends on snow depth and weather.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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Difficulty: Moderate
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: This is an xcellent trail. Easy commute from Denver which causes it to be heavily visited particularly as the day goes on. Initial hike up trail is vertical (not really) then fairly horizontal thru a series of meadows with beautiful wild flowers in spring. Snowshoes may be needed further up the trail ubtil mid summer. Again another hard climb up to access the lake but it is worth it. In spring lake is beneath snow field BEAUTIFUL. Breathtaking views!!

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Cross-country Skiing
ICON Hiking & Walking
ICON Snowshoeing

Related Activities
Bard Creek Trail - This is a one-way trail if followed through to the Herman Gulch Trailhead. It is recommended to park a second vehicle at the Herman Gulch Trailhead unless you would like to hike back.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Clear Creek Ranger District, 101 Chicago Creek Rd, P.O. Box 3307 , Idaho Springs, CO, 80452, Phone: 303-567-2901, Fax: 303-567-3021

Clear Creek Ranger District Visitor Information Center, P.O. Box 3307 , Idaho Springs, CO, 80452, Phone: 303-567-2901, TTY: 303-567-3009


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