We took this trip during the first weekend of October 2013, and as you can see it was just about peak for the colors. The trailhead is less than 2 hours from Denver and very accessible (no long, crumbling dirt roads). You hit great views pretty quickly, so if you want to make this a shorter hike it is a good choice.
- Start: Eaglesmere Trailhead
- Round-trip Length: 7.2 miles
- Start-End Elevation: 8,737 ft – 10,397 ft
- Elevation Change: +1,660 ft net elevation gain
- Dogs Allowed: yes
- Bikes Allowed: no
- Water: Can filter water at the lake
- Highlights: gorgeous views for aspens groves, lakes, mountains; excellent for the late September – early October color changes
The trailhead is approximately 25 miles north of Silverthorne on route 9. We camped the night before.
The hike begins in an aspen forest. I’m going to be nauseating and tell you that none of these photos are edited. Because I have no editing skills and because they didn’t need any. Wee! But some photo credit is due to my friend and her husband who went with us.
Within about 0.5 – 1.0 miles things start to open up:
Lower Cataract Lake:
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? IT’S LIKE QUEEN MADE THAT SONG JUST FOR THIS MOMENT.
Artsy shot #1:
Artsy shot #2:
After about 2.5 – 3.0 miles in the forest starts to transition to old growth forest. This is about how far we went in part because it was icy and we didn’t bring snow traction. Dammit if we weren’t close. But it was pretty and smelled like Christmas.