The Crater Lakes
Distance: 7 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,075 Feet
Trail head: Rollinsville - Moffat Tunnel
The Pre-Meet: We will depart the Sheridan/Highway 36/88th Park-in-Ride at 7:30 a.m. 7:30 a.m. is the carpool time. For those meeting at the trail head, I anticipate that we will start hiking between 9:00 and 9:15 a.m. Please let me know if you do not plan to meet at the Park-N-Ride so that we are not waiting on you.
Attendees: This hike is strictly limited to 12 attendees per wilderness rules. If you are signed up for multiple hikes for Saturday, I will be dropping you back to the wait list on this one. But, please do let me know if you really wanted to attend this, and I'll make sure to get you on as people drop. With the strict attendee limits, however, I don't want to have people sitting as "yes" attendees on two different hikes as you can only attend one.
The hike to the Crater Lakes is one of the better, flowing-water outings in Colorado. The trail starts out paralleling South Boulder Creek southwest of the Moffat Tunnel. After crossing creeks from the Forest Lakes and the Arapaho Lakes, a side trail rises steeply to several high lakes and lots of cascading water. Starting out, we begin by following a wide trail past a cabin and signboard. We will cross a series of wooden bridges as we follow the main trail as it ascends along South Boulder Creek on the left. After 1.2 miles, we will pass through an open meadow with two cabin ruins. 0.6 miles farther brings us to a side trail on the left and a cairn-marked trail on the right, just before a small creek descends from the right. We will leave the main trail and ascend on the right fork to the north-northwest. This is rough trail and becomes steep as it ascends into the Crater Lakes basin. We will follow the trail as it passes between the two middle Crater Lakes and then along the left side of the lake on the right. The trail then ascends before reaching the creek that supplies this lake. The steep trail passes to the right of a rocky peak and encounters waterfalls and cascades coming from the upper Crater Lakes. Shortly before the final steep section, we will cross the outflow creek and ascend first to a smaller lake and then the final, larger upper Crater Lake, just below treeline. We will return the way we came.
Wild Mountain Smokehouse and Brewery in Nederland. http://wildmountainsb.com/
70 E 1st St Nederland, CO 80466
What to Bring –
As always, you are responsible for your own safety and well-being on this hike, and should do your own research - but here is some suggested gear:
Water and Snacks
Several layers of clothing
Good hiking boots
Rain Gear - There is a 40% chance of rain pretty much everywhere on Saturday.
Poles – optional