Upper Tuhare Lake is a remarkable lake, set in a high basin surrounded by rugged, rocky splendor. Nestled snugly against the east side of Holy Cross Ridge at an altitude of 12,365 feet, Upper Tuhare Lake is very cold, very remote, very pristine, and very big. It is unusual to find such a large lake so high in the mountains of Colorado. The Holy Cross Ridge which provides the backdrop for upper Tuhare Lake is punctuated by two unnamed high thirteeners.
This trip is combined with another meetup: Colorado Queer Backpackers. We will post 4 spots to both groups. You can either meet at the trailhead the Friday morning or stay at the half moon campground on Thursday evening. Don't forget to bring cash in small bills to pay for the campsite.
Highlights: Waterfalls, wildflower and alpine lakes
(Upper Tuhare Lake at sunset)
(Upper Tuhare Lake)
(falls below Tuhare Lakes)
(falls above Tuhare Lakes)
RSVP: Opens June 19 and closes July 19
Solitude: The Holy Cross Wilderness is a busy place but these trails see fewer visitors
Trail Length: 15 miles point to point; shuttle 45 min; 5-6 miles daily
Elevation Gain: ft. 4800 gain, ft. loss 5000
Elevation range: 10,300 to 12,600
Information: Holy Cross District (970)[masked]
Travel time from Denver: 2.5 hours
Carpool Meeting Time: 7.00 am
Trailhead Meeting Time: 9.30 am
First Day Friday, hike 5 miles to a meadow above Lake Constantine; set up camp; then hike to Upper Tuhare lake; eat dinner and watch the sun set. Hike back to camp using headlamps.
Second Day Saturday, hike 6 miles over Fall Creek pass, down the seven sisters lakes, lunch at Hunky Dorey lake; continue on to Fancy Lake; setup camp
Third day Sunday, hike 2 miles down Fancy Pass trail to cars; shuttle back to the North Fall Creek trailhead; 45 min drive
Optional Evening Thursday, car camp at halfmoon campground
Directions: To halfmoon campground: Travel west on I-70 to Exit 171 for Minturn, Leadville, and Hwy 24.Turn right and travel south about 5 miles.Immediately before crossing the Eagle River, turn right onto Tigiwon Road - FSR 707 and continue up this dirt road for 8 miles to the campground at the end.
Fall Creek North Trailhead: the trail climbs gradually to Lake Constantine. After crossing Fall Creek, the trail climbs abruptly to the alpine meadows below Fall Creek Pass.
Fall Creek trail to Tuhare Lakes: this is a primitive trail with a good deal of elevation gain. Within just a few minutes of leaving Fall Creek the trail comes to a granite outcropping where some scrambling is necessary. Following that it reaches a plateau where you can enjoy a few minutes of level ground before again continuing the climb. The waterfall on the north side of the canyon will be in full view as you continue upward, and the scenery just keeps getting better.
Fall Creek trail to Fancy lake: over the pass, the trail drops down to the Seven Sisters Lakes and then to Hunky Dory Lake.
Mosquitos might be an issue. Please bring Deet or something that works for you. Be sure to follow Pack-it-in and pack-it-out, Leave no Trace Practices and follow Wilderness Regulations.
Lightning strikes are a serious risk in summer. Follow the 30/30 Rule. Count the time between a lightning flash and the sound of thunder. Sound travels roughly one mile in five seconds. If the time between the lightning and thunder is less than 30 seconds, that means you're well within the danger zone and need to find a safe spot.
Dogs are allowed and must be leashed in accordance with wilderness regulations.
Food Storage and Cooking:
Bear-proofing precautions and practices are required. We cook 300 feet away from the tents and keep all food and odorous items in a bear-resistant canister, Ursack, or hang it in a tree away from camp. Most backpackers hang their food and items that smell. If you have questions, please ask me. Always filter backcountry water.
Procedure for signing up on this trip:
RSVP and sign the Colorado Backers Meetup Group Terms of Understanding (below). If you do not complete the Terms of Understanding, you will be wait-listed. You must complete the form for every trip.
Waiver and Release:
Please Note: Participants attending this trip must sign the Colorado Backpackers Meetup Group Terms of Understanding and contact information using this link:
Completing this required form will act as your electronic signature & acknowledgment that you have read and understand the Terms of Understanding. If this is not received, I cannot guarantee that you will receive all the trip info including trailhead location, time changes, carpooling info, or other final planning information. If you do not complete the form, you will be removed from the trip. You are responsible for transportation to and from trailhead.
Your electronic signature is also your understanding that by attending this Meetup event you understand that backpacking has its inherent risks, including but not limited to injuries where there is no 911 help. You are responsible for your own safety, the equipment to keep you safe and your travel through the backcountry. All decisions are made with safety first.
Gear essentials: Food, Water, Water filter, Warm clothing you can layer, First Aid Kit, Knife/multitool, Headlamp, Ability to start fire in any weather, Stove & Fuel, toilet paper, trash bag, Warm Sleeping Bag & Pad, Tent that keeps the weather off you, full rain gear jacket & pants (ponchos don't work), Sunglasses, Hat & Sunscreen. If you don't know what to pack see the list on our site.
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