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Herman Gulch and Lake- Moderate

  • Herman Gulch Trailhead

    West of Denver off I-70, Just East of Loveland Ski Resort, Denver, CO (map)

    39.737568 -104.984718

  • We will be in the parking lot.
  • Folks, this hike is going to be a lot of fun! It is simply breathtaking! About 6.5 miles and 1800 feet of elevation gain. We will do try to do this hike year round so dress accordingly. This means layers, traction devices and or snowshoes in winter.

    Herman Lake - 6.5 Miles Round-Trip 3
    Herman Lake is located north of Bakerville, CO in the Clear Creek Ranger District of the Arapaho National Forest. It lies in the open tundra of a capacious valley just below the Continental Divide.

    The Herman Gulch Trail, which is part of the greater Continental Divide Trail, follows Herman Gulch through luxuriant meadows to treeline, where it branches off on a well-defined path to Herman Lake. Visitors will enjoy good trail conditions, open alpine landscapes and a chance to see bighorn sheep and mountain goat in their natural habitat:

    Trail Map | Photo Gallery

    The Herman Gulch Trail begins in a fir-aspen forest to the Watrous Gulch Trail split and bears north (.17 miles : 10,376'). It steepens on a wide, rocky track to Herman Gulch, where it bends northwest and moderates along the creek and string of slender glades (.5 miles : 10,690').

    The trail rises steadily beside the creek into a long meadow in the lower gulch (1.05 miles : 10,940'). Travel moderates with emerging views of the Continental Divide between Pettingell Peak (13,553') and Hagar Mountain (13,195'). Look for moose along the willow-lined creek, and deer and elk on the grassy slopes of Mount Bethel (12,705') to the south.

    The trail moves quickly up-valley, gaining only 300' between the first and second mile (2.0 miles : 11,288'). At 2.45 miles (11,464') it edges back into forest and climbs steeply above the gulch, passing treeline just before reaching the CDT - Jones Pass Trail split (2.85 miles : 11,838').

    Follow signs west to Herman Lake. The Herman Lake Trail climbs steadily into an expansive alpine landscape, easing across open tundra flats to Herman Lake (3.25 miles : 11,987').

    Herman Lake is framed by the steep east wall of Pettingell Peak, but is free of major obstacles and easy to explore. The main trail continues past the lake, eventually fading in the tundra on an informal run up to the Divide. Climb a knoll over the lake's east shore for sensational panoramas across the basin and expansive upper valley, and scan the valley walls for bighorn sheep and mountain goat that inhabit this area.

    Directions to Trailhead
    The Herman Gulch Trailhead is located .1 mile north of exit #218 from I-70. It's located between Bakerville, CO and the Eisenhower Tunnel.

    From westbound I-70, exit #218 and bear right (east) on the short service road that dead-ends at the Herman Gulch Trailhead.

    Round-Trip Length: 6.5 miles
    Start-End Elevation: 10,332' - 11,987' (12,018' max elevation)
    Elevation Change: +1,655' net elevation gain (+1,815' total roundtrip elevation gain)
    Skill Level: Moderate
    Dogs Allowed: Yes
    Bikes Allowed: Yes
    Horses Allowed: Yes
    Related Trails:
    Boulder Lake
    Chicago Lakes
    St Mary's Glacier               By signing up for this hike you acknowledge that you are solely responsible for your own safety and will do the necessary research to understand the conditions of this hike and the gear you will require. By signing up for this Meetup you relieve the event host of any responsibility for harm that may come your way during this hike Meetup as well as any transportation accidents to and from this hike Meetup.

    Car pooling is encouraged as parking lot is a little on the small side.


    Google map to trailhead:,-105.85438,10z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x876a4df514bca5d7:0xae5e355176c917cf

    Apres hike:

    Smokin Yards BBQ

    2736 Colorado Blvd.

    Idaho Springs 80452


    Google map to restaurant:'s+BBQ/@39.741667,-105.501231,15z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xf82a58100968b2c8

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  • Carole

    enjoy this cool hike, is this the correct date July 15/2017?

    November 21

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4 going

  • doug d.
    The Duq of Earl, Assistant Organizer,
    Event Host

    Hi, I'm Doug and have lived in Colorado for 8 years and love being outdoors.

  • Carole

    Appreciation for the outdoors !

  • Ray

    I've been a member for a while...camped­ at RMNP, social events, great hikes....good people, best... more

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