This will involve two different trails passing by 5 different lakes over 11,000'. Both trails are above treeline, so it can get VERY WINDY and COLD. Bring warm gear (including hats and gloves) in layers. This will be good practice for the cold of the snowshoeing season ahead. The first hike will be at Guanella Pass to the Square Top Lakes (~4.6 mi RT/1,000+' total elevation gain) at over 12,000'. After this portion, we will drive back north (and down) the pass a couple of miles to begin the second leg of the journey passing by Naylor Lake, Silver Dollar Lake, and finally, Murray Lake (12,178') just below the Continental Divide (~5.6 mi RT/1,000'+ total elevation gain).
Square Top Lakes
Square Top Lakes from Square Top Mountain
Silver Dollar & Murray Lakes
TOTAL DISTANCE & GAIN
The total of these two hikes will be ~10.2 mi RT/2,100' elevation gain.
MEET AT PnR: 7:15a; Leave 7:30a
HIKE STARTS: 8:45a
Meet at the Wooly Mammoth PnR off the 259/Morrison exit (LatLong[masked], [masked]) in Section DD across from Conoco and the Full Steam Ahead coffee house.
1) Square Top Lakes/Guanella Pass: N[masked] W[masked]
2) Parking Lot Near Silver Dollar Lake Trailhead: N[masked] W[masked]
It is possible to drive with 4WD vehicles to the Silver Dollar TH, but we'll most likely just park on Guanella Pass Rd and walk up the road to the TH. This has been factored into the distance/gain.
DRIVING TO GUANELLA PASS
Take I-70W to Georgetown/Exit 228 and follow the signs through town to Guanella Pass Road. It's about 9.7 mi to the first trailhead (we will pass the 2nd TH parking area on the way).
Leashed dogs are permitted.
WHAT TO BRING
2-3 liters of water; snacks and/or lunch; warm clothing in layers.
The organizers take the time to plan fun and challenging events, but we are not professional guides. Therefore, you should be self-sufficient and carry the 10 essentials. On every one of our hikes, members need to know the route, have a map & compass and/or GPS and be able to find their way in case the group gets spread apart.
Inclement weather will cancel the hike.
See you there!